House & History

In the year 1848, the street Hafnarstræti in Kvosin in Reykjavík got its name. Previously the path, by the then coastal ridge, was called Strandgata or Reipslagarabraut after a storage house for ropes that stood there at the waters edge in Reykjavík. The Zimsenhouse was built in stages on the site Hafnarstræti 21, and completed in 1899, but the oldest part of the building is much older or from 1835. The house was then later moved and renovated in 2007, when the Ministry of Culture and the City of Reykjavík found a better future location for the building, close to Hafnarstræti at Grófartorg by Vesturgata 2, diagonally across from the Reykjavík Art Museum. Today, there are offices on the top floor, a cafe and bookstore on the street level, and a premium restaurant on the ground floor, Fiskfélagið . A modern house, which is about to turn 200 years old, that is to say, the oldest part of the building.

A photograph taken from Lækjartorg in the year 1903, the Zimsenhouse on the far right. Thomsen Magasín to the left. (Photographer unknown.)

The east side of the house.

The backside of the house seen from Vesturgata.


Reykjavík : 06/10/2022 : A7C, A7R IV – FE 1.4/24mm GM, FE 1.2/50mm GM
Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson