Pósthusstræti then & now

On a map drawn by the city of Reykjavík in 1801, there are five streets and one unnamed path, between the Cathedral and Austurstræti. The path is the beginning of Pósthússtræti, then the street was named after Reykjavík’s first post office, which stood just east of the church, where Hótel Borg is now. The hotel was the first real hotel in Iceland, built for the parliamentary festival in 1930 by the wrestler Jóhannes Jósefson and his wife, Karólína Amalía Guðlaugsdóttir. Guðjón Samúelsson designed the building, as well as Hallgrímskirkja, Akureyrarkirkja, Sundhöllin, The University of Iceland, Landspítalinn and of course the National Theater. Hotel Borg was occupied by the allies during World War II. Reykjavík’s Post Office was then moved in 1914 to a house, designed by Rögnvaldur Ólafsson, on the corner of Austurstræti and Pósthússtræti. The building is now preserved and houses a food hall, Pósthús Food Hall & Bar.

Pósthússtræti, seen from Austurvöllur in 1919

Life in Pósthússtræti in 1914

Life in Pósthússtræti in 2023, the Pósthús Food Hall in the background

Jón Sigurðsson looking over Austurvöllur towards the Parliament

There is always a line to get to Iceland’s most popular hot dog stand, Bæjarins Beztu

Iceland’s tax office, Radison SAS hotel and Landsbankinn

Photographs and text: Páll Stéfánsson
Reykjavík 05/04/2023 : A7R IV, RX!R II : FE 1.8/14mm GM, 2.0/35mm Z