Lake Tjornin, Reykjavík

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  • Lake Tjornin
    by toonsarah
  • Crossing the pond
    Crossing the pond
    by toonsarah
  • This cat had its eye on the ducks.
    This cat had its eye on the ducks.
    by IreneMcKay
  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Tjörnin - the Reykjavík pond.

    by Regina1965 Updated Jul 3, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The geese.
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    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.

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  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Tjornin Lake

    by IreneMcKay Updated Jun 16, 2013

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    The City Hall.
    4 more images

    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.

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    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Tjörnin Pond

    by toonsarah Written Mar 10, 2012

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    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!

    +++Next tip!+++

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  • sarahandgareth's Profile Photo

    Lake Tjornin

    by sarahandgareth Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    The pond in the winter time - go skating there.

    by Regina1965 Updated Dec 30, 2009

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    Tj��rnin - people skating on the pond.
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    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.

    My first 2 photos are of people skating on the pond and the next 3 photos are of people feeding the ducks.

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  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Feed the Ducks at the Tjornin Lake by City Hall

    by jumpingnorman Updated Jul 12, 2009

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    The famous POND by the Reykjavik City Hall
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    If you look at the map of Reykjavik that they have all over the place, you can't miss seeing the body of water near the city hall. It is called the Tjornin Lake (known for feeding the ducks and swans, and in winter for ice-skaters). So, I purposedly walk to it during one of my bright summer nights of walking myself to death...and it was awesome!

    The pond is very picturesque and there were kids feeding the ducks and it really is a great photo place. I think it is called Tjornin and they do encourage young kids to feed not only the ducks, but also the seagulls, swans and geese. It was summer and these birds were having a grand time...along with the people. By the way, did you know that Iceland has tons of kinds of ducks?

    During winter though, the lake freezes over - but don't worry because the city pumps hot geothermal water to defrosts an area for these wonderful aqua birds...

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    • Family Travel

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  • pure1942's Profile Photo

    Lake Tjornin

    by pure1942 Written Dec 13, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    Lake Tjornin is situated in the centre of Reykjavik and like all central city parks is a welcome chage to the busy streets and roads of the capital. The small lake is located next to a green park - Hljomskalagardurinn, which together with the lake is a popular place for local families who come to the park, especially during the summer, to relax, play and feed the geese and ducks who inhabit the lake.
    During the winter most of the lake freezes and locals can skate and play ice hockey on its surface. However, it is interesting to note that not all of the lake frezes as part of the lake is kept ice free using warm geothermally heated water so that the resident flock of geese can stay during the winter months. THe geese would otherwise have to leave for southern Europe!!!
    Several important buildings surround the lake, namely the City Hall, National Theatre, Idno Theatre and Frikirkjan.

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  • Redang's Profile Photo

    Tjörnin

    by Redang Updated Aug 24, 2008

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tj��rnin (Reykjav��k, Iceland)

    This pond, in the centre of Reykjavík, gets frozen in winter, although they leave the northern corner unfrozen for the ducks to swin (thanks Regina1965 for the info).

    It is possible to watch up to 40 different kind of birds.

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  • MikeAtSea's Profile Photo

    Lake Tjornin

    by MikeAtSea Written Aug 11, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lake Tjornin
    1 more image

    Located in the heart of Reykjavik is a small yet well-known attraction known as Lake Tjornin. This is an outdoor destination where people can enjoy themselves during any season.
    During the winter season, one can skate, play ice-hockey, or stroll on the lake as its water freezes over and in the summer one can rest or feed the birds along the rivers edge.

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  • travelfrosch's Profile Photo

    Tjörnin

    by travelfrosch Updated Mar 1, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tj��rnin
    4 more images

    If you have some time to kill on a sunny day, make your way to the Tjörnin, a small lake in central Reykjavík. There are nice walking paths and benches to sit on. From the lake, you can get fine views of Hallgrímskirkja and downtown Reykjavík. A nice place for a scenic picnic as well.

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Tjorn (The Pond)

    by acemj Updated May 5, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    3 more images

    You won't have any trouble finding the Pond in the center of town, so wander down there and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Just off of the Austurvollur and adjacent to the Town Hall, you'll find a great spot where the birds and people gather for a photo and feeding frenzy. There are benches along the edges of the Pond that make it a pleasant place to bring a hot dog or coffee and enjoy the day.

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  • coccinella169's Profile Photo

    Tjörnin

    by coccinella169 Updated Mar 14, 2007

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    handsome duck
    4 more images

    This is Reykjavik`s central lake next to the modern city hall. Parts of it are kept ice free for the birds by hot water even in winter. I could have spent hours there watching the numerous swans, ducks, geese and other birds. It is a very nice area to go for a walk too.

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  • melanief's Profile Photo

    Enjoy Tjörnin lake

    by melanief Written Aug 31, 2006

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    Ducks on Lake Tjornin
    4 more images

    Visit Lake Tjornin, a peaceful haven, in the middle of Reykjavik. There are many varities of aquatic birds that live in the lake. Be sure to bring some bread or crackers to feed them.

    In the winter, the lake freezes over and people go skating or play ice-hockey on the lake.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Tjörnin Lake

    by peach93 Written Sep 3, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tj��rnin Lake

    Tjörnin Lake is at the center of the old part of the city. It is the focal point around which the vikings began to build what is now Reykjavik. It is a beautiful spot to sit and relax and is home to several species of birds. There are also a lot of ducks to feed and outdoor concerts in the summertime.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Birdwatching

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Lake Tjornin

    by sue_stone Written Jun 8, 2005

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    Feeding birds at the Lake
    2 more images

    Lake Tjornin is a pretty Lake in the heart of Reykjavik. It is a relaxing place to visit and sit for a while, either by the water or in the surrounding park. It is located just behind the fancy looking City Hall.

    We sat early one evening in the warm sun for half and hour or so, just watching kids feed bread to the huge array of ducks and geese.

    We also enjoyed eavesdropping on people's conversations and were asked a few times to take photos of other tourists who were also enjoyed a relax by the Lake.

    Just another beautiful place in this attractive city!

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