National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavík

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 Reviews

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  • Door Panel-13th Century
    Door Panel-13th Century
    by JessieLang
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    13th Century Figurine
    by JessieLang
  • 17th Century Pulpit
    17th Century Pulpit
    by JessieLang
  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    A FEW INTERESTING EXHIBITS AT NATIONAL MUSEUM

    by davidjo Written Jul 22, 2015

    PHOTO 1 A four man fishing boat that was built in 1898 by Bjarni Olafsson that was named Meira-Gardsbaturinn which had a shallow draught, easy to row and very seaworthy. In 1911 it was sold to Jon Kristiansson who renamed it Ingjaldur, but he later sold it to another Icelander who passed it on to his son, Sveinn Jonsson who installed a motor. Amazingly this boat was still used for fishing until 1970 when the museum purchased it from Sveinn.

    PHOTO 2 This chair was built in 1550 from birch wood and belonged to Thorrin Jonsdottir who was the mistress of Grund and daughter of a bishop. This is actually the oldest artifact that bears the name of the person who made it, Benedict Narfason.

    PHOTO 3 You can get an idea of how a farmer lived by looking at this 19th century sleeping room.

    PHOTO 4 These were implements that were used in the olden days for the boats (i think )

    PHOTO 5 This skeleton was found in remarkable good condition

    1898  four man fishing boat 1550 birch chair of a mistress farmer's sleeping room remains of early settler
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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    CHRIST OR THOR ? WHO KNOWS !

    by davidjo Written Jul 22, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the prize exhibits in the National Museum is a tiny bronze figure, around 4 or 5 cms high and dated from around 1000 AD, but there is some disagreement of who this figure represents. Some believe it is the god Thor clasping his hammer but others believe that it is Christ clutching his cross. It is easy to miss but his figure is enclosed in a glass case and can be viewed on the right just as you enter the exhibition room.
    The little guy was found in Ejjafjordur in 1815 but this area was where pagans and Christians lived in harmony back then so the controversy remains.

    WHO WAS HE ? some information
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  • davidjo's Profile Photo

    A MUSEUM WORTH VISITING

    by davidjo Written Jul 22, 2015

    Unfortunately i only had an hour to spare when i visited the National Museum but i could easily have spent half a day here viewing the permanent and temporary exhibitions. The museum has all types of exhibits from the settlement years to the 20th century. MAKING OF A NATION is a permanent exhibition which gives an insight into the history of the country for the last 1100 years, and has 2,000 objects and 1,000 photographs. If you enter the room you will start off by seeing a boat that the early settlers arrived on from their old country and ends up with the airport where Icelanders can take off and explore the world.

    A list of temporary exhibitions can be seen here
    http://www.thjodminjasafn.is/english/temporary-exhibitions/current-exhibitions/

    Opening hours:
    Summer
    May 1st - September 15th:
    Daily 10am-5pm

    Winter
    September 16th - April 30th:
    Tuesday - Sunday 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays.

    Easter 2015

    Closed on Easter Sunday and Monday (5th and 6th of April)
    General Admission:


    Adult: 1500 ISK
    Senior citizens (67+), disabled and students: 750 ISK
    Groups of 10+: 1000 ISK
    Children under 18, ICOM, FISOS: Free

    entrance at rear of building the museum jewelry fishing hooks
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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    The National Museum of Iceland - Þjóðminjasafnið.

    by Regina1965 Updated Apr 27, 2015

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The National Museum is a must visit in Reykjavík. It conserves a varied selection of relics that testify to the cultural history of the Icelandic nation. It is an extremely interesting museum on 3 floors displaying all kinds of Viking artefacts from the time of the Vikings settling here in and around 874 (the Irish monks were the first settlers in Iceland though) and onto more modern times. It is really a must visiting this museum with its original Viking swords and ornaments etc.

    There is a section at the museum on the history of the Catholic church with a lot of artefacts from that time. The Icelanders converted in the year 1000 and much later became Protestants and that was not done peacefully, to say the least. I must say I was impressed with how well it was covered and with the music of the monks singing in the background made it quite an experience. The museum takes you through all eras of the Icelandic history, at the beginning there are the Viking artefacts gradually leading you to the modern age.

    The history of the National Museum is interesting as it has been located in so many buildings through the centuries. It was established on the 24th of February 1863 when Helgi Sigurðsson donated 15 artefacts to what he wanted to see as the first Icelandic museum of old relics. Until then Icelandic artefacts were on display in Danish museums. Now ca 350.000 objects belong to the museum.

    The locations of the National Museum: 1863-1870 in the attic of the Lutheran Cathedral, 1879-1881 in Hegningarhúsið penitentiary, 1881-1899 in the Parliament building, 1899-1908 in the Landsbankahús National Bank of Iceland, 1908-1950 in Þjóðmenningarhúsið Culture House. It has been at its current location since 1950. The Icelandic Parliament donated this building to the nation as a morning gift when the Icelandic republic was founded in 1944.

    Opening hours: May 1st - September 15 every day from 10:00-17:00. September 16 - April 30 every day of the week except Mondays from 11:00-17:00.

    On the 3rd Sunday of each month in winter time it is a two for one offer. There is free entrance on Safnanótt (Museum night), the first day of summer, Menningarnótt (Culture night), on our National Holiday on the 17th of June and the first of December.

    The admission fee is ISK 1.200, but for groups (of 10 or more people), students and pensioners the fee is ISK 600. Free admission for kids under the age of 18.

    On the ground-floor there is a Kaffitár café and a gift-shop where you can buy books and souvenirs. On the ground-floor there is also an exhibition of photographs by various photographers. And here is free wifi.

    In 2006 the National Museum joined the best museums in Europe and got the "Best in Heritage - Group of Excellance" from the European Museum Forum.

    ��j����minjasafni�� - The National Museum. Drinking horns of the elite from the 15th century The chasuble donated by Bishop J��n Arason

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  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    National Museum

    by Airpunk Written Mar 29, 2015

    The National Museum is gives you a good and solid overview over the island's history. It is not very big and located in a 1950s building, but should be on the itinerary of anyone interested in history. The upper floor deals mostly with the Vikings and the late middle ages while the ground floor focuses on modern history. The place is not really large, but a high quality museum and maybe the best Iceland can offer on scientific standards.
    In the Viking/early Christian section, have a look on the devil and demon depictions on wooden panels. Also, the beautiful wood carvings are worth a notice.

    The 1500 ISK (2014) are a bargain in comparison with similar attractions. Plan around 1 ½ hours for a visit.

    National Museum, Reykjavik Demon depictions, National Museum Reykjavik Wooden Carvings, Nationa Museum Reykjavik Old Map of Iceland, National Museum, Reykjavik
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  • lotharscheer's Profile Photo

    National Museum of Iceland

    by lotharscheer Updated Jul 1, 2014

    It is not very big but it shows the history of Iceland very well with a lot of multimedia support. A great place to spend a rainy afternoon, 1500 ISK.
    Opening hours:
    Summer:
    May 1st - September 15th:
    Daily 10am-5pm
    Winter:
    September 16th - April 30th:
    Tuesday - Sunday 11am-5pm. Closed Mondays.

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  • Regina1965's Profile Photo

    Old phone-directories.

    by Regina1965 Written Mar 3, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is one room at the National Museum which I especially like, the room with the old phone-directories :)

    There Icelanders can look up their relatives (or whom ever) in phone-directories from when they were born or before that time. I love doing this, it is quite nostalgic looking up the phone-numbers of my father and grandfathers, all of whom are gone now. Women were not listed back then as they were usually house-wives.

    I can just sit in this room for hours :)

    Old phone-directories. The phone-directory from the year I was born. My father. My grandfather. My grandfather.

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  • JessieLang's Profile Photo

    The National Museum

    by JessieLang Written Aug 17, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The National Museum of Iceland was established in 1863. In 2004 it was refurbished and modernized.

    The Museum is arranged chronologically, and contains artifacts from each time period from the earliest settlements to modern times.

    Free on Wednesdays. Admission charge on other days.

    17th Century Pulpit Memorial Plaque-1700s Drinking Horn-1598 13th Century Figurine Door Panel-13th Century
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  • albert34's Profile Photo

    National Museum

    by albert34 Written Jul 1, 2009

    Very interesting.An example of the many things you can learn:At the beginning of the XVIII Century Iceland had 50,000 inhabitants.One hundred years later it were 47,000.It happened a number of terrible disasters:Smallpox epidemia,big lava floods...dead animals,famine...

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  • Redang's Profile Photo

    The National Museum of Iceland

    by Redang Updated Aug 23, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Þjóðminjasafn Islands (National Museum of iceland): Making of a Nation: This very interesting museum shows, from the seven periods it is divided into, the History of Iceland across its nearly 1200 years of age.

    National Museum of Iceland (Reykjav��k, Iceland)

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  • SapineKuu's Profile Photo

    National Museum of Iceland

    by SapineKuu Updated Jan 6, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a cool building with an equally great collection of old relics (and I don’t mean the staff!). There are impressive swords and armour aplenty along with lovely carvings of all things wooden. Being a typical boy I was impressed by this gory axe and block used for the last Icelandic execution and a mysterious document which is believed to be an incantation of a magic spell to cast upon annoying people (rate my tip or you've been warned!)

    Mind Your Head Spellbinding Experience
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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    National Museum

    by acemj Updated May 5, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When I visit a country for the first time, I like to seek out a good museum of its history early on in my trip. The idea is that the visit will enrich my trip by helping me understand the land and its people just a little better and I've found, it usually helps.

    The National Museum of Iceland does a great job of presenting the history of the land, highlighting the early period when Iceland was settled and showing how resourceful and independent its people have been over the last 12 centuries. Not only is the museum educational, but it's also very well organized and, of course, has everything in both Icelandic and English.

    I happened to visit on a holiday (first day of summer!), so the admission was free. Normally it costs 600 Kr to visit for adults (300 Kr for students and seniors and free for kids under 18).

    The hours are as follows:

    Winter (September 16th - April 30th): Daily except Mondays 11-17.
    - Please notice: The museum is closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday
    Summer (May 1st - September 15th): Daily 10-17.

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  • sarahandgareth's Profile Photo

    National Museum of Iceland

    by sarahandgareth Written Sep 6, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Iceland's National Museum, like all the others we visited, is an excellent combination of artifacts and texts; while there was more to read here than in other locations, it held our interest throughout. The museum is laid out in such a way that it tells the story of Iceland: you walk in at the dawn of Icelandic history (early exploration and "settlement" by Irish monks before the Viking era), right through the golden age as represented by the literary explosion of the saga period, then through the long 'Dark Ages' and then the gradual coming of modernity. The final exhibit area includes a computer with that day's newspaper online, so it's always right up to date!

    Inevitably, the early period, with tales of Vikings and religious wars, held our interest more, but the museum also has an interesting set of 'key' exhibits, the must-see items, with accompanying text, that give you a speeded-up version of Icelandic history if you can't stay long. That's a good primer, but don't pass by all of the other exhibits: it's a great primer on Icelandic history, which we especially enjoyed having already seen some of the key sites outside Reykjavik.

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  • thelittlevoice's Profile Photo

    National Museum

    by thelittlevoice Written Jul 9, 2006

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    The National Museum of Iceland is a modern and progressive museum, providing a comprehensive picture of the past 1200 years of Iceland's cultural history, as well as offering diverse special and photographical exhibitions. The museum holds up to three thousand objects, among them most of the greatest treasures of the Icelandic nation. The building also houses a fully equipped lecture hall, a fine museum store and a cafe which is a cultural refuge in the city centre and on the university grounds. The National Museum of Iceland is a palce which no fan of the history and culture of the nation can afford to miss.

    Admission: ISK 600, free on Wednesday.
    Open daily from 10am to 5pm in summer.

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  • The National Museum of Iceland

    by peach93 Updated Sep 4, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This Reykjavik museum showcases Iceland's heritage both past, present, and future through an extensive collection of articfacts and themed exhibits that depict aspects of Iceland's cultural history. If you are interested in the Vikings or in the Icelandic Sagas as I always have been (For my 30th birthday I recieved not one, but 2 copies of the Sagas translated by 2 different people!) this place will amaze you. It is incredible. The museum has also been recently renovated so everything in it is new and updated. They have a gift shop, a café, and also offer guided tours.

    Admission 600 ISK (around $6 US)
    Free on Wednesdays

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    • Archeology

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