Lake Tjornin, Reykjavík
This pavilion was constructed in 1923 and was the first building in the city that was solely to be a music venue. This is where the park that it was in got its name as Hljoniskallin (pavilion) Park. Since the construction Reykjavik Brass Band has been based there with the intention that they would play on the roof if the weather was fine. The first music school started operations from there in 1922 and in 1930 the Reykjavik Music College was founded there.
On the east side of Lake Tjornin you will see one of these historical information boards that are so common throughout the city. In 1901 the town council set aside some land for a park which would become Hjomskalagardur but in 1908 the mayor decided that refuge should be dumped as landfill which would later be used to construct a bridge across the lake. In 1920 the bridge was completed so a new dump site was opened at the end of the lake which would eventually become the park. Today it is rather a beautiful area with trees and various sculptures.
This is a smaller park that is almost connected to Hljómskálagarður Park on the east side of Tjornin lake, where you will find lovely flowers, some artwork and a great view of the pond . Fríkirkjuvegur Palace stands within the park but it was covered by a colorful tarpaulin and looks as if it was being renovated.
Jon Bjornsson, Iceland's first trained landscape architect designed the park in 1953, connecting 4 gardens that were already there The park originally had a fountain with a statue of a boy, but is no longer there, although there is a sculpture of a man in the garden.
Another statue by Lake Tjornin so who was this man ?
Olafur Thors (1892 - 1964) was the Prime Minister of Iceland on five occasions and was educated in the university at Copenhagen. In 1916 he returned to his home country and had a fish trawling business with his brother and became chairman of the fish trawlers owner's association. He was elected to Parliament as a member of the Independence Party in 1925 and in 1932 he became Minister of Justice before becoming Prime Minister for the first time in 1942. He was Prime Minister when Iceland broke all ties with Denmark and help draft the country's constitution. He was PM on 4 more occasions, until 1963, then he died the following year.
Each time i walked around Lake Tjornin i saw many birds, a few i recognised but many i didn't. The lake is home for more than 40 species of visiting birds that include geese, Arctic tern, ducks, swans, gulls, etc. If you are like me and don't know so much about our feathered friends there are several notice boards informing us of the species, particularly just to the left of the walkway to city hall.
Lake Tjornin is sometimes referred to as THE POND and you can find this picturesque lake right in downtown Reykjavik. There are many sculptures and statues by the side of the lake, especially in Hijomskalagurdar and one has a beautiful view of the City Hall, the National Gallery and a nearby church. In winter it can be fun as the lake is turned into a giant skating rink for the locals to practice their skills. It is also a place where you can hear and see many birds such as geese, swans, terns, ducks and as many as 40 different species who come to visit. Cyclists and joggers can be seen exercising everyday. And don't forget to look at the fountain in the SW corner.
An interesting fact.
Years ago when they decided to build a bridge across the lake it was decided to dump the city's garbage each side to fill in the lake where the bridge was to be constructed. There was a lot of controversy about this but after 2 or 3 years the new land made by the garbage was sufficient to start work on the bridge.
While wandering around Lake Tjornin you will find many sculptures by the lake and in the nearby parks. There are far too many to write about individually so here are a few photographs of some that i came across. Spend some relaxing with the fellow sitting on the bench in photo 5.
Guess I got carried away on photos as I still have more shots of the lake that I like. That cat looks like it is about to leap in have a swim and return with a few fish. The gardens around the lake had pretty and colourful flowers. There were great views from the lake over various other parts of town.
Tjörnin pond is a park area behind the city hall. Along the shore are many sculptures, which makes sense, as the pond is at the center of the Reykjavík Museum Walk. There are grassy areas to picnic, or benches to feed the ducks. As you complete your circumnavigation which started at city hall and went south, you will come to an area that is popular for feeding the birds. The city has put up interpretive signs so that you can identify all the birds, who are not shy if you have brought the something to eat.
During the winter time if there is enough frost the pond freezes up and you can go skating there. When I took my photos it was -12 degrees C and the ice was ca 10-20 cm thick so it was secure enough to go skating. I used to go there a lot when I was young.
There are many ducks, geese and swans on the pond and in winter when the pond freezes up they only stay in the northern courner of the pond where warm water is poured into the pond to help the birds. From there you can feed the ducks on the ice or the usual way, from ashore. This is a very popular pastime here in Reykjavík.
At the turn of the 20th century there were no birds on the pond as they were all shot for food. This was forbidden in 1919 and also boat traffic was forbidden and then birds started to be seen here again. Swans were put on the pond in 1920 and a little later 9 different duck species were put on the pond.
My first 2 photos are of people skating on the pond and the next 3 photos are of people feeding the ducks.
On the 4th day of our trip … we actually had warm weather and decided to walk from our hotel to the surrounding area ….
One of the site near our hotel was Lake Tjörnin, where on the north park of the lake stands City Hall …. The lake is used as a running path for locals and a duck sanctuary … along the lake there is serval sculptures and a gift of peace from Japan … the whole walk around the lake took about 20 minutes ….
We were happy that we had decent temperatures so we weren't in a rush ….
The Reykjavík pond, Tjörnin, is right in the city center, by the City hall and stretches from Lækjargata to Hringbraut and Tjarnargata. It is divided in two by a bridge. On the southern side there is a park, Hljómskálagarður, and in the summer time we turn on the fountain there. It used to be a big fountain, but as it is almost always windy here in Iceland, then passers by were getting soaked by the fountain, so now it is less than half its original size. There is not much activiy in Hljómskálagarður park, but there is a newly opened (2010) café there in the summer time to get more people to visit the park. Right across the street of Hljómskálagarður and Tjörnin is the University of Iceland and the National museum.
On the northern side of Tjörnin is where most of the swans, geese and ducks are and that is where we go feed them. In Icelandic we call it "að gefa brabra" meaning "to feed brabra (baby talk for ducks)" and we say that even as grown ups. During the winter time when the pond freezes you can go scating there, but the northern courner is left unfrozen because of the birds.
Especially in the summer time the sea gulls come and ruin the whole tradition, there can be more sea-gulls on Tjörnin than there are swans, geese and ducks. In addition to eating all the bread they eat the ducklings so we have been reduced to shooting them to get rid of them. We have stopped that though. They used to be here only in the summer time but now some of them seem to stay all year round here. The only thing that can be done is to forbid feeding of the ducks when the ducklings are very young, so that the sea gulls will have to look for food else where.
The aggressive geese here have all but taken over. There used to be mainly ducks and swans here, but now the geese are everywhere - and they poo a LOT, the paths are covered in poo and the main area where the ducks are fed is covered in their poo :( It is getting way too filthy and even though it is cleaned regularily it is in vain.
But taking a stroll around Tjörnin on a sunny day is lovely.
I add a website of Tjörnin live :) And here is a a 360° view of Tjörnin pond.
This lovely lake is close to the parliament building and Domskirkja. We walked right round and watched people feed the gulls and ducks. There were many interesting sculptures, flowers and lots of seats in which to take a little rest. The city hall is on this lake.
Once we had parked by the university, we crossed the main road and found the path that would lead us to the centre of town, following the bank of the large Tjörnin Pond. This was frozen solid (later, on our way back to the car, we were to see one local using it as a short-cut, striding out over the ice very confidently – not something I would have felt brave enough to risk!)
Tjörnin Pond is a natural pond and a distinctive feature of Reykjavik. On its northern side is the City Hall, seen in the background in my second photo. We also had good views here of Hallgrimskikja up on the hill beyond, and of another church on the eastern side. There are a couple of interesting statues and sculptures here too, including one of Ólafur Thors, who served as Prime Minister of Iceland on five occasions between 1942 and 1963. But my favourite was the statue of a man seated by the pond (in photo three), whom for a while both Chris and I took to be real!
As we walked the sun came out and bathed the scene in a beautiful light – our first glimpse of just how lovely a winter’s day in Iceland can be! Had we visited in summer we would no doubt have seen plenty of families here, feeding the ducks and sea-birds that congregate on the water. As it was we had it almost to ourselves, and it was a lovely way to approach Reykjavik. Do make time for this peaceful spot!
Lake Tjornin is a lovely lake right in the center of Reykjavík; it's a natural feature, which has been there since earliest times, and it's a haven for ducks (and other water birds) and those who enjoy the company of ducks. There are always a few people around with bits of bread, and there are signs up with pictures of many of the more common avian residents (and visitors), although we had a hard time telling some of them apart. Still, we saw a few birds here that we didn't spot on our travels around Iceland, including an eider duck.