Reykjavíkurvíkurtjörn in the winter sun

Reykjavíkurtjörn has for decades been one of the favorite places of the capital’s residents, especially in winter. When you can ice skate, or just walk on the frozen pond. Ice harvesting was practiced at Reykjavíkurtjörn from around the turn of the century until the forties of the 20th century. The ice harvesting marked a turning point in the diet of the people of Reykjavík, because from there on out the residents could buy meat and fish from late autumn until spring. Two of the ice houses still stand by Tjörnin. The building that Tjarnarbíó is in now was originally built as an ice house, and the building that is now one of Ísland’s Museum of Art’s buildings, at Fríkirkjuvegur 7, was built as an ice house in 1916. Icelandic Times / Land & Saga went down to Tjörnin, to take in the mood.

Ice harvesting on Tjörninni at the beginning of the last century

Looking down Lækjargata from Tjörnin, Harpa and Esja in the background

Iðnó on the left, the old Miðbæjarskólinn, now Kvennó in the middle of the picture, Hallgrímskirkja on the far right

Looking south across Tjörnin from Iðnó

On one leg


At Reykjavík City Hall

26/03/2023 : A7R III, A7C : FE 2.5/40mm G, FE 200-600 G
Text and photographs: Páll Stefánsson