High and low
It can be said that few streets in Iceland are as diverse in business and human life as Lindargata in Skuggahverfi district of downtown Reykjavík. Lindargata starts at Arnarhóll, and the first houses when you turn into this one-way street are the Supreme Court of Iceland on the right, and the Ministry of Finance on the left. Then there is the back side of the National Theatre, and Kassinn, one of the stages from the theatre across the street. Next to Kassinn is the Ministry of the Environment. In between, the street has small old wooden houses, a kindergarten, and then new high-rise buildings with the most expensive apartments in the country. Opposite the high-rises is the country’s largest shelter for homeless men dealing with addiction. At the end of the street by Vitatorg there is a large retirement home for the elderly. The name of the street is first mentioned in the census in 1885, and it derives its name from Móakotslind, the main water source of the Skuggahverfi district that stood on the corner of Vatnsstígur and Lindargata. Móakotslind was closed in 1907 after a typhoid outbreak was discovered, which was attributed to the spring. Skuggahverfi takes its name from the farm Skuggi, which stood at the current intersection of Skúlagata and Klapparstígur, the farm was built in 1802 and was abandoned in 1845, but after the construction of Skuggi, more farms were built nearby and the cluster, now the neighbourhood, had and still have a name attributed to the original farm Skuggi.

The first part of Lindargata, the Supreme Court on the right and the Ministry of Finance on the right

Ebenezerhús built in 1914, across the street from the Ministry of the Environment

High and Low

The National Theatre, Þjóðleikhúsið, on the left and the Supreme court in the back

The end of Lindargata at Vitatorg

The kindergarten Lindarborg

This house could do with a little upkeeping

At the corner of Lindargata and Klapparstígur, looking west

At the corner of Lindargata and Klapparstígur, looking east

The most recently built houses on the street

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson
Reykjavík 26/06/2023 : A7C, RX1R II – FE 1.8/14mm GM, 2.0/35mm Z