Hofdi House - Höfði House, Reykjavík
For people interested in world history and global politics, this is a place you should put on your list. Here, the negotiations between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan came to a breakthrough -it was the beginning of the end of the Cold War. I expected to see the place from outside and go back into the city centre. First, I was surprised to find an explanatorx board with excellent information about the negotiations as well as about the history of the house. Then, I was surprised that it was actually open.
I can not remember how much you had to pay to get in, but I remember that this was the lowest entry fee I had to pay in Reykjavik. Maybe 500 ISK ? Inside, there is little to read about. The exhibiton consists mostly of pictures and may disappoint you. In my opinion, it was still worth to walk around and feel history. As a person interested in history, this was one of the highlights for me and I would recommend it. However, if you are not interested in this kind of topic, it may just be an old house with 1970s furniture.
This house was the location of the historic meeting in 1986 between presidents Ronald Reagan of the USA and Mikhail Gorbatsjov of the USSR. This meeting is regarded as the 'beginning of the end' of the cold war.
The house was built in 1909 for the French consul in Iceland, Jean-Paul Brillouin.
After a series of inhabitants the Britisch consulate resided here.
In 1958 the Icelandic government bought the house and restored it to its original glory. Since then it's in use for official receptions.
On it's 100th birthday it got damaged in a fire, of which everything has been restored by now.
As it was not open to the public, we couldn't see the inside of the house, but the outside does look nice ...
A bit further east of the Sun Voyager is Höfði House (1909) which is best known amongst foreigners as the meeting place between Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbatsjov in 1986, the meeting which is believed to have ended the Cold war. Höfði has been the official reception building since 1967 and is still used for receptions and a number of well-known people have been greeted here. The story of the house is interesting and international as the French state built Höfði for the French consul which moved into the house at the end of September 1909. A lot of noted Icelandic individuals have lived in the house since, f.ex. Páll Einarsson, the first Mayor of Reykjavík, Einar Benediktsson the noted Icelandic poet and Matthías Einarsson, senior physician. Before WW2 the British state bought Höfði and used it for an embassy until 1952. From 1952-1958 it was owned by Ingólfur Espholin CEO until the Icelandic state bought in in 1958.
It is located in Borgartún almost right on the waterfront, so you cannot miss it if you take a stroll from the Sun Voyager and further east. It is not open to visitors though, and it is haunted...
On Höfði´s 100th birthday a fire started (it is believed from electricity) and there were some damages to it, but it has now been fixed.
Höfði was recently (2012) opened to public and in the summer of 2012 more than 6.000 people visited Höfði. Höfði will from now on be open to guests in the summer time.
There is no admittance fee, but if one wants to contribute a small fee, then that is appreciated.
This house is called Hofdi House.
In 1986, Reagan & Gorbachev met in this house ? What were they doing in that house, well, they talked....Maybe !
This house, Siggi told me is also haunted by ghosts of the icelandic past...Hhmm !
It's also along Saebraut road if you walk further from the Sun Craft sculpture that you saw my photos above.
This is the sight of the famous 1986 meeting between Soviet President Gorbachev and American President Reagan that started the negotiations that ended the Cold War.