66 years ago, the city of Reykjavík decided to turn Árbær, a rural country town that was going desert, and is in the best place in the city land, in Ártúnsbrekka, with a great view of the capital, into a museum. There old houses that made up the city center before be moved and rebuilt, for future generations. The oldest house at Árbæjarsafn is Hansenhús, built 200 years ago, in 1823 at Austurvöllur, by Simon Hansen, a merchant who lived there until 1847. The house was moved from Pósthússtræti to Árbæjarsafn in 1960. Many important people later lived in the house, such as Jón Árnason, folklore collector, Sigurður Guðmundsson our first real painter, and Sigfús Eymundsson bookseller and photographer. All the buildings in the museum have a significant history, and there is no place or museum in Iceland where you can travel to the past as quickly as in Árbæjarsafn, which is now almost in the center of the capital. Icelandic Times / Land & Saga looked at it.

Sleeping area in Árbær


Árbæjarkirkja, built in Silfrastaðir in Skagafjörður in 1842, moved to Árbæjarsafn in 1960

The exhibition Neyzlan in Reykjavík in the 20th century

A typical living room for the wealthy from around 100 years ago

Alba Davíðsdóttir and Kári Pálsson going back 200 years in time at Árbæjarsafn

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson
21/01/2023 : RX1R II, A7C : 2.0/35mm Z, FE 1.8/20mm G