National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavik
The National Museum of Iceland explores the history and cultural heritage of Iceland from the Viking settlements of the Middle Ages to the present day.
The National Museum of Iceland explores the history and cultural heritage of Iceland from the Viking settlements of the Middle Ages to the present day. It showcases historical artifacts from different parts of the country, along with multimedia presentations and photographs.
The main exhibition – 'Making of a Nation' traces Iceland's journey from the Settlement in 870 to the present day through 2000 chronologically arranged artifacts and 1000 modern photographs. Understand the local political history from times of Christian chieftains to Norwegian rule, then Danish rule and finally sovereign statehood as the Republic of Iceland in 1944. Visitors go on a journey through time beginning with the ship in which medieval settlers crossed the ocean, to the modern Keflavik airport which represents the Icelanders' gateway to the world. It is divided into 4 sections – Work and the Way of Life, Settlement Patterns, Arts and Crafts, and Social culture and language. Highlights include the 12thcentury Valthjófsstadur wooden door featuring elaborate medieval engravings depicting scenes from the legendary Le Chevalier au Lion, bronze figure of Thor, and the first Bible printed in Iceland in 1584.
In addition to the permanent display, there are always several temporary exhibitions covering a wealth of subjects. Don’t miss the National Gallery of Photography on the ground floor, which is free of charge.
It is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, with the exception of Mondays from mid-September to mid-April. Entrance tickets cost ISK 2000 for adults, and ISK 1000 for seniors (>67 years) and students. It includes entry to the Culture House. Groupd discounts are available. Admission is free for children under 18 years and disabled persons. Audio-guides are available for ISK 300, and guided tours can be booked in advance for groups of 10 or more for ISK 2000.