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National Museum of Iceland

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Vikings and Sagas! Reykjavik  Iceland
National Museum of Iceland Reykjavik  Iceland
Perusing Iceland’s History at the National Museum Reykjavik  Iceland
Vikings and Sagas! Reykjavik  Iceland
National Museum of Iceland Reykjavik  Iceland
Perusing Iceland’s History at the National Museum Reykjavik  Iceland
Vikings and Sagas!
The National Museum of Iceland is a great spot to find out about the nation's fascinating past. The permanent exhibition stretches right back to the first settlement and comes up to the present day, and contains some 2,000 objects plus around 1,000 photographs from the 20th century. Displayed chronologically, the exhibit starts with replicas of the ships that the settlers arrived in and ends, with a modern flourish, with Keflavik airport—which lets in people every day from all across the globe.

National Museum of Iceland
Culture fans: This should be your first stop in Reykjavik. Covering 1,200 years of history, the National Museum traces Iceland's journey from settlement to modern day. Don’t miss the permanent exhibition, “Making of a Nation,” that explores the country's heritage. It begins with a ship full of medieval settlers and ends with the image of a modern airport, neatly illustrating Iceland's evolution from a remote outpost to an island connected to the rest of the world.

Perusing Iceland’s History at the National Museum
Those keen on gaining insight into Iceland’s history should head to the National Museum. Just a stone’s throw from the city centre and across the so-called pond, the museum’s permanent exhibition aims to sum up a grand history in an afternoon’s serving.

Split up over two floors, the exhibits starts at the beginning (aka around 800 AD), progressing through periods of Christianity and both Norwegian and Danish rule up to the modern day. Highlights include the carved drinking horns, attributed only to Iceland, miraculously preserved textiles, and the skautbúningur costume — formal attire for women in the 1800s, seen in its modern, plasticized version above. Did you know that while the majority of Icelandic men can be traced back to Norway and Denmark, the women mostly hail from the British Isles? I did not.

Additional rotating exhibits are also always available for viewing; during my visit, one was devoted to the photography of Valdimar Thorlacius, depicting Iceland’s hermits and loners and their living spaces to great effect. (Admittedly I’m a real sucker for arresting images of work-worn people and haunting landscapes!)

Suðurgata 41, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
+354 530 2200
Sun - Sat 10am - 5pm