Hellfire Museum. Reykjavik, Iceland.

Hellfire Museum. Reykjavik, Iceland.

Blue Lagoon is a geothermal pool, known around the world. Moreover, it is really unique. The lagoon the color of the sky is the true symbol of the northern country and one of the favorite Scandinavian resorts. Due to the unique composition of the water, bacteria simply do not survive in the Blue Lagoon.

Imagine World Tower

One of the most moving monuments dedicated to a loved one is the brainchild of Yoko Ono, the famous widow of the legendary Beatle John Lennon. But like everything the couple did, the monument can’t be called just a lump of stone – it’s a global work of art in its intent and message to the world.

Mount Esia

A volcano that has been erupting for 2 or 3 million years, the guardian angel of Reykjavík and one of the most common names of blond Icelandic girls, all this is Mount Esja, 10 km from the capital, to the delight of all panorama lovers.

Hövdi House

The amazing story of a small mansion that appeared without the knowledge of the authorities in the northern part of the capital of Iceland, makes every day the crowd of tourists to approach to the albeit closed to visitors Hövdi house, look through the windows and take the traditional selfies against it.

Harpa Concert and Convention Center

A new jewel in Reykjavik’s collection, which appeared on the city map not long ago, is the Harpa Concert and Congress Center, which won the prestigious Mies van der Rohe Architecture Prize in 2013. The striking building resembles a spaceship from the future.

Cultural Center Perlan

It’s no accident that the avant-garde, extravagant and eccentric Björk was born in Reykjavik. Where else in the world could this fragile young lady with her crazy ideas and brilliant voice have grown up if not in Iceland, where they turn a city boiler-room into a cultural center?

Landakotskirkja

You can’t say that Iceland in general and Reykjavik in particular can boast a wealth of architectural sights. But they do not need it, as it is more than compensated by the wonderful colors of life and, of course, nature.

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National Museum of Iceland

Icelanders call their national museum a place where the Nordic sagas are closely intertwined with actual history. The exposition, located in a building huge by the standards of the island, covers the history of the country from the emergence of the first people here to the present day.

Vidii Island

Videi Island is a unique place, but little-known even to those tourists who ventured out to the frozen expanses of this ancient and beautiful country. And no wonder: the beauty of national parks, thermal geysers and waterfalls overshadow the seemingly inconspicuous island of land.

Sun Voyager Monument

One of the most elaborate and brilliant sculptures in the world, “The Sun Voyager” or “The Sun Traveler”, is a Russian translation of this monument. Created from sketches by the talented Icelandic artist Jon Gunnar Arnason, the Sun Voyager was installed on the waterfront of Reykjavik

Reykjavik City Hall

One of the most controversial landmarks of the capital of Iceland, located in the heart of the city and still causing much discussion and sometimes condemnation by locals. Of course, we are talking about Reykjavik City Hall.

Arbaejarsafn Folklore Museum

The largest open-air museum in Iceland, which is housed in 30 buildings and introduces visitors to “Reykjavik leaving” is Arbaejarsafn, a real treasure trove of original folklore, amazing traditions and ancient architecture of this northern country.

Hadlgrimskirkja

Powerful, utterly futuristic, and rudely piercing the skies, the Lutheran church of Hadlegrimskirkja would look more organic in Babylon 5 than in the middle of one of the Old World’s capitals. For most orthodox tourists, the temple’s appearance is perplexing.

Small, modest, charming and cozy Reykjavik can, without a shadow of a doubt, be called one of the most interesting capitals of Europe. The main thing that distinguishes the city on the map of the Old World is probably its location. It is located on a frozen island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean about halfway between the New World and the old Europe. No wonder its face, character, atmosphere and attractions are so different from the rest of the mainland’s capitals.

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“The Sun Wanderer” is a monument so similar to the skeleton of a Viking war boat. At sunset, when soft purple and orange hues descend on the city, this sculpture is considered the most romantic place in the capital, and the number of “selfies” on its background just goes off the scale.

Reykjavik is amazing, and you’ll know it as soon as you step off the plane. And it’s hard to say what strikes you more – the stunning nature of the land of elves and Vikings, or the man-made sights of Reykjavík. To begin with, the Hadlgrímskirkja Church, which at first glance looks like at least a spaceship that has unexpectedly landed in Iceland, in the middle of its capital. Both the overall monumentality of the building and its sharp spire, pointing up into the sky and piercing the heavens above, are impressive.

To see the beauty of Reykjavík, and just to enjoy the fantastic views of the ocean, you should go to Mount Esja. In addition to the panoramas, everyone who bothers to go up to one of its peaks (and it’s not that far – about 1.5 hours of scenic walk), will have the opportunity to leave an autograph in the guest book. Another excellent viewing platform, and also a full-fledged cultural center with a restaurant, a museum and a boiler room that heats the whole city, is “Perlan”. Its 360 degree rotating restaurant offers perhaps the best views of the city.

The waterfront in Reykjavik is definitely worth a visit, as there are at least three worthy places to visit. The first is the Sun Wanderer, a monument so similar to the skeleton of a Viking war boat. At sunset, when the city descends soft purple and orange hues, this sculpture is considered the most romantic place in the capital, and the number of “selfies” on its background just goes off the scale. The second most popular sight by the water is the Hövdi House, where an agreement was reached to end the Cold War between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.S.R. Finally, the port where the ferries to Videy Island depart from. Of course, in the latter case, it’s not the harbor itself that’s important, but where you can go from it. After all, it is on the island of Videi that the oldest stone church in the country, with its interior virtually intact, has been preserved. And it’s also home to the Imagine World Tower, which was designed by the famous Yoko Ono in memory of her husband, John Lennon.

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It would be remiss not to mention both the Reykjavik Town Hall and the Open Air Folk Museum. The first one attracts the eye with its brutal “high-tech” appearance against the background of traditional wooden houses of the capital’s center. And the second is ready to introduce everyone to the national crafts, old homes and fascinating exhibits about the life and traditions of the inhabitants of Reykjavik.

Hellfire Museum. Reykjavik, Iceland.

Perhaps more than any other feature, the island of Iceland is famous for the sheer number of fire-breathing mountains located on it, many of which remain active. Their exact number is still unclear; estimates range from 150 to 200, and a third or a quarter of them are still active. The eruption of Eyjafjallajöküdl, the most famous of all, in 2010 paralyzed air traffic throughout the Western Hemisphere for two weeks.

And while it remains unknown how many “dangerous neighbors” there are on Ice Island, no one has any doubt that there are more here than in any other country in the world. This is the reason why one of its unofficial names sounds like “Land of Volcanoes”. Therefore, it is quite logical to look unusual for other Europeans museum “Volcano House”, or “Volcano House” in the usual sense for us, located on the territory of the Icelandic capital.

Location of the museum

Hellfire Museum. Reykjavik, Iceland - Photo 2

Hellfire Museum. Reykjavik, Iceland.

It is also noteworthy that it is visited more by the locals themselves than by visitors to the capital of the Ice Island. But this does not mean that it does not arouse interest among tourists. Just the former are reverent about their fire-breathing mountains, and want to have more than theoretical knowledge. And the latter often can not find the “House of Volcanoes” among the huge number of museums in Reykjavik, from which there is literally blurred in the eyes.

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Oddly enough, it has a rather favorable geographical location within the city, especially if you know where to look for it. Often it is found by pure chance while checking out the cultural establishments in the Old Port area. And it has to be said, its location is very convenient – at the intersection of Triggwagat and Geirsgat streets. Thus, you can get here from the center either by a circuitous route, in the first case, or by a straight line, in the second case.

Historical parallels

Museum of hellfire. Reykjavik, Iceland - Photo 3

Hellfire Museum. Reykjavik, Iceland.

As mentioned, the very existence of the “House of Volcanoes” is logical, for Reykjavík in particular, and for Iceland in general, given the natural features of the Land of Fire and Ice. It can be classified as geological and thematic at the same time, but the history of its creation was long and thorny, despite the fact that the conditions for it were plentiful, as well as materials for the exhibitions, lacking only a suitable building.

The first mineral collections were established in 1909, but since public utilities in Reykjavik have always been in dire need of real estate, they simply could not provide the space. The problem remained under Danish rule and after Icelandic independence in 1944. It was resolved only by chance when in the early 1970s, the old port was closed, and with it many harbor facilities were emptied.

Peculiarities of the visit.

Museum of hellfire. Reykjavik, Iceland - Photo 4

Hellfire Museum. Reykjavik, Iceland.

Now the Volcano House is one of the largest of all the museum and exhibition centers on the territory of the Icelandic capital. It fully occupies a large five-story building, which until 1979 housed the offices of a closed fish factory. Nothing was changed in its architecture, as it was fairly new and aesthetically attractive, only superficial and internal reconstruction was carried out here, adapting the former offices for museum funds.

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Most of the exhibits here are samples of lava rocks and minerals ejected during eruptions from the bowels of the fire-bearing mountains, many of them precious. Each of them is accompanied by explanatory plates with descriptions of which volcano they represent, when the eruption took place, what inclusions they have, and so on. However, the most interesting and remarkable feature of “Volcano House” is that unlike other museums, you can touch the exhibits with your hands.

It is exciting and educational to walk around the numerous exhibit halls, and the fact that you can even touch and feel whole lumps of gems worth tens of millions of Icelandic crowns in your hands is simply unforgettable. The only pity is that the museum is a one-hour tour – tourists and inquisitive Icelanders are let in separate batches at the beginning of each hour, from 10:00 to 21:00.

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