Lækjartorg has been one of Reykjavík’s main squares, since the town/city began being built up and expanded after it received market rights in 1786. A few years earlier, in 1759, construction began on a penitentiary house witch was finished 1764, and the area in front of the house was preserved, but there was supposed to be a Danish military base built there. This area is now Lækjartorg, and the penitentiary is the Government Council, the office of the Prime Minister from the establishment of the Republic. Icelandic Times / Land & Saga went down to Lækjartorg in the rainy but warm weather today, but the square is set to change a lot in the coming years. But Borgaralind by Sp(r)int Studio and Karrens en Brands won the design competition for Lækjartorg and the surrounding area. Lækjartorg will therefore continue to be the center of attention in the city center for the foreseeable future.

Lækjartorg 124 years ago

The future look for Lækjartorg

Looking down Bankastræti towards Lækjartorg, with the courthouse of Reykjavík in the front

The government council house today, with the national theater (Þjóðleikhúsið) to the far left on Hverfisgata

A traveller all the way from Finland photographing the government council house

A bus-stop in Lækjartorg, one of the main bus-stops in Reykjavík

Looking down from the steps of the government counsel house, Harpa on the right

Svarti Álfur Mánason, employee of Pönksafnið in Bankastræti 0, by Lækjartorg

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson
Reykjavík 08/05/2023 : RX1R II : 2.0/35mm Z