Vífil’s land

In 874, Vífill and Karli, slaves of the first settler Ingólfur Arnarson, found his high sea pillars, in a bay under Arnarhóll in Reykjavík. Ingólfur settled there, together with his wife Hallgerður Fróðadóttir. The slave Karli ran away with a maid and they were later found at Reykir in Ölfus. Vífill was freed and built a farm at Vífilsstaðir, south of Reykjavík.
In 1910, a hospital for tuberculosis patients was built on the land, the first in the country, designed by Rögnvaldur Ólafsson. Vífilstaðir was far from the inhabited area of Reykjavík then. A geriatric hospital is now being operated in Vífilsstaðir, which is now not far from the center of the capital area, a short distance from IKEA, the center of Garðabær and the outdoor areas at Vífilstaðavatn and Heiðmörk.


Vífilsstaðir, built in 1910, where there is now an elderly service

Looking across Lake Vífilsstaður, to the west towards Hafnarfjörður and Garðabær, you can just make out the red roof of Vífilsstaðir in the middle of a grove of trees, just to the right of the center of the picture

The view from Vífilsstaðir, the new neighborhood in Garðabær, Urriðaholt can be seen between the trees

Vífilsstaðavatn is very close to the hospital, a good 2.6 km walking-running trail surrounds the lake

There is a lot of birdlife at Vífilsstaðavatn, and in the groves of trees near the hospital

Garðabær 19/09/2022 : A7R IV – FE 1.2/50mm GM Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson