Gröndalshús – Gröndal‘s House
This charming red house was the home of Benedikt Gröndal (1826-1907), writer, illustrator,
translator and natural scientist. He lived there from 1988 until he passed away on August 2, 1907.
Gröndal was a productive author, a poet and prose writer whose autobiography is condidered one of
the classics of Icelandic literature. He translated Homer from the Greek and write textbooks that he
used as a teacher at Lærði skólinn in nearby Lækjargata, now MR.
Gröndal‘s love for nature was one of his strongest characteristics and this passion took form in innumerable images of native Icelandic birds, animals and flora. He could often be seen walking down to the seaside where he collected creatures that he brought back to his house. There he studied them in a microscope and used them as models for his beautiful drawings. Benedikt Gröndal was one of the founders of the Icelandic Natural History Society and its first director. “Books are people. Or, to put it another way, people‘s spirits live in them; through the authors be long-dead, they speak to us through the books.”
The house was originally located at Vesturgata 16b. Reykjavík City bought it for preservation because
of its historical importance and renovated it at its current location on the corner of Fischersund and
Mjóstræti. It was opened to the public in June 2017 and is now run as a culture house and writer
residency by the Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature.
More information about the house and residency on the website bokmenntaborgin.is.