Iceland is not famous because of impressive and historic building, but because its landscapes and nature wonders. However, there are some constructions that are worth a visit because of its importance in the country’s history. Here we will mention some of those Historical Sites In Iceland and explain a bit of their past and present.
Höfði House is a mansion located in Félagstúni and constructed back in 1909. The French consul Jean-Paul Brillouin use it as his residence and also the poet and businessmen Einar Benediktsson lived here.
It became property of the Reykjavik council in 1958 when they discovered geothermal water underneath the house.
But Höfði House is mainly known because it was the place where Ronald Reagan, president of the United Stated, and Mijail Gorbachov, the Soviet leader, met to decide the end of the Cold War.
This farm settlement will give you an idea of the first Icelandic constructions and houses of the country. It is located in Norður-Múlasýsla, at the east of the island. Get your coat ready, as the lowest temperature ever in the country happened here: -38°! This stunning scenery has a church, a guesthouse and a small store and restaurant. It is also a really nice place where to eat, save a place for the cake! Totally worth of being in our Historical Sites In Iceland list!
Víðimýrarkirkja Church (Varmahlid)
This church is one of the few turf churches still preserved in the country, and nowadays it is the responsibility of the National Museum of Iceland. With turf walls and timber gables, it was erected on 1834. You might get shocked because of the difference between this construction and the European churches we are used to, but it is a picturesque vignette of the old Iceland and important part of our Historical Sites In Iceland.
This historical farm is believed to be the oldest turf house in Iceland – also called sod house – from the few preserved turf houses on the island.
Keldur farm is located at the south and was the house of Ingjaldur Höskuldsson from the Saga of Njáll. During 12th and 13th the Oddi Clan lived here, they were one of the most important clans in the island.
You have to be aware that from June 2017, the opening times are 10am to 6pm from 1st June to 31st August and the entrance fee is 1200 ISK
Bessastaðir is a historical building first built in 1000. Nowadays is the residence of the President of Iceland, located in Álftanes. When it was first settled, it was one of the Snorri Sturluson’s farms until he was murdered. Then the King of Norway claimed the house. Later on, Bessastaðir became a school in 18th century before being a farm again.
In 1867 the poet Grímur Thomsen bough the construction to live there and some other historical figures lived after him until 1940 when Sigurður Jónasson bought the house and donated it to the state.
Thingvallakirkja church (Thingvellir)
This beautiful church was constructed just before the Christianity was introduced in Iceland. Even being a human construction, it really blends into the surrounding. It is worth to have a walk around it visit the National cemetery of Iceland, just next to it, here a few famous Icelanders are buried.
Husavikurkirkja church is a must see if coming to Husavik or around for whale watching. Rognvaldur Olafsson designed this beautiful building and built it with wood from Norway. The tower is 26 meters high and it is really different to any other Christian church in Iceland.
The entrance is free and there is a car parking, so it is a good idea to stop before or after your whale watching tour, and you can leave the car there meanwhile. It is location just right in front of the harbour and it is design makes this church picturesque and that is probably why many tourist said it is the most beautiful church in Iceland, it is just gorgeous!
Núpsstaðakirkja church (Kirkjubaejarklaustur)
Núpsstaðakirkja church is the smallest turf church in the country, located in Nupsstadur. It’s one of the 6 remaining turf churches in Iceland and it belongs nowadays to the National Museum of Iceland (Þjóðminjasafn Íslands), which is in charge of its maintenance.
This church was built around 1657 and the oldest part dates from 17th century. In 1765 it was deconsecrated and used as a farm church, oratory and even as a storehouse. Then it was again re-consecrated and repaired in 1960.
Amazing Historical Sites In Iceland
Located in the middle of Reykjavik, this Lutheran church is 74 meters high and it is the largest in Iceland. It is even between the largest structures in the country!
This building has nothing to do with the previously mentioned turf churches, as it is a concrete building based on different architectural styles, but still it has become a national symbol and is an important part of Historical Sites In Iceland. The architect was Guðjón Samúelsson who completed it in 1940.