Reykjavik Open-air Museum. Medieval flavor of the old Reykjavik

In order to inspect this amazing place, it will be necessary to minimize a little aside in the southern direction from Lyigavagur Street, almost at its very beginning, about 300 meters from the center. This is one of the most interesting tourist sites in the Reykjavik territory, and not only for lovers of history, and for all inquisitive, because here it is represented by the oldest part of the city.

General Presentations on Attractions

Reykjavik Open-air Museum, has other names, which often begins confusion, and visitors think that these are different tourist objects. In a different way, he is called Arbaer, but there is a third title: historical and architectural and ethnographic museum Reykjavik. This gives a clear idea that it represents. Not many know, but it could not be, because immediately after finding Iceland of independence in 1944, the capital of the young state began to expand.

The large-scale development was carried out not only on the outskirts of the city, but also in its geographical and historical centers. The latter retained still medieval buildings, most of them were Abandoned farm and traditional squat houses. They did not fit into the modern appearance of the capital and originally they wanted to simply demolish them. But the local residents of Reykjavik were rebelled against this, who supported the then metropolitan township.
The final decision was made in 1957, on it, the preserved historical buildings were supposed to be an exposition Ethnographic museum. Additionally, there were about two dozen buildings from different ends of the city and they were thoroughly restored. The first visitors examined the old Reykjavik already in 1960.

What is the ethnographic reserve

This is the place where it is simply impossible to keep emotions, given that the exposition is the real historical buildings, not layouts and reproductions. Some of them More than 800 years old, and they have been preserved since the first settlers. Others belong to the period of late Middle Ages, to the XVI-XVII centuries.
Most buildings are traditional Icelandic dwellings – small houses built by type of twilights, isolated from wild, unwanted stone, with roofs of rod or peat. There are also several administrative buildings, stone church, jewelry workshop, restaurant, forge, bakery and confectionery.

But at all fit into the general architectural ensemble one of the first steam locomotives, on the rails in the second half of the XIX century, set a little away from the rest of the buildings. And especially modern auto repair shop, although located on consideration, but still creating a killer contrast.

Features of the open-air museum

Reykjavik Open-air Museum. Medieval flavor of the old Reykjavik

In total, about three dozen old buildings in the historical and architectural ethnographic museum, and the thematic collections are presented in each of them. So, In the squat houses, household objects are exhibited, services are held in the church, the forge works, and in the bakery and confectionery bake bread and sweets.
Among other things, to create an atmosphere and natural flavor of distant times, all employees and museum caretakers are dressed in traditional historical costumes. On the territory of the Reykjavik Museum under the open sky, in the summer it is often a variety of festivals and reconstructions.

And here there is a restaurant, where you can drink beer or honey, welded in medieval recipes, and taste dishes of national Icelandic cuisine. It is here best to try the famous Harkal, what can be and notorious. This dish is not too well perceived The stomach of average Europeans, Asians are somewhat stronger.


Do not have to doubt that if the events of the middle of the last century were fluttered somewhere with us, the historical buildings would have restated under the next supermarket or entertainment center. But Icelanders are completely Another mentality, They reverently and carefully treat their history and cultural values ​​to keep them for descendants.

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