A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

Hello folks!

As you might know, I recently moved a bit farther out of the city center of Reykjavík. The situation has its pros and its cons. One con is that I have to bike for 45 minutes to get to the city center, one pro is that I’m getting quite ripped in the process.  Another, maybe even more substantial pro is that I now live mere minutes from Árbær Folk Museum.

Never heard of the place? I guess it might be a bit less popular  than other destinations that are right in the center but this is by no means a good enough reason to avoid the place altogether.

The Museum is situated just out of town, on the banks of the Elida River, an oasis of green farmland in the middle of the otherwise greyish Reykjavík suburbs. Árbær was established in the Sixties when the rampant urbanization was bringing more and more Icelanders to establish themselves in the capital. At that moment, the government decided to preserve the old farm at Árbær and make it into a park to expose the traditional building style and way of life of the Iceland of Yore..

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.Ultimately, the city ended growing to the point that the whole Museum is now completely surrounded by the concrete city. It’s a bit tacky on one hand, but on the other it gives locals the possibility to get a bite of rural Iceland without leaving the capital. In any cases, I personally fell in love with the place!

Árbær is basically a place where you can enjoy a tour through the history of Reykjavík. You’ll get to see and walk through all types of old buildings, learn about the popular history of the city through various exhibits and hang out with dressed up people and cute animals alike (no dressed up animals though).

Rather than write a thesis about this beautiful place, I’ll rather present some photos I took there, I think it will be largely enough to convince you to have a look!.

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.Some of the earliest Icelandic souvenirs: handmade crafts sold to Allied soldiers stationed in the island during the war..

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.A garage from the fifties. Back in the days when cars were not computers!

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.A local band of youngsters provided some most enjoyable entertainment. The (very) young drummer even enjoyed himself in a ten-minutes long drum-solo! But not before dutifully providing the rhythm backbone for a sleek cover of "Heart-Shaped Box"..

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.This, dear friends is Iceland's oldest mixed stone/wood house in existence. It doesn't look like it but it is almost a hundred years old!.

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.Another building provided some precious hindsight into the life and entertainment of kids back when internet wasn't an option..

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.This woman kept playing an old NES loaded with Super Mario while her completely unnimpressed daughter went off to wander somewhere. I was really pissed, I hoped she'd follow the kid and give me the opportunity to try! Nope. What do people used to say about Video games being antisocial devices? Guess they were right..

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.Instead, I wandered around the building and discovered that it was actually Iceland's oldest Catholic church, built back in the 1880s! When the present Cathedral was consecrated, this old church was turned into a gymnasium and is a now part of the museum.

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.Iceland: Rock'n Roll country since 1926!.

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.The entrance of an old stone barn..

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.An old smithy from the late nineteeth century all covered in turf..

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.I named this adorable beast Ozzy the Metal Sheep!.

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.Two adorables Veals were also hanging around. They got really friendly once I started feeding them some green grass!.

A Photographic Walk in Árbær Folk Museum

.The banks of the Ellida river are known for their bird population, mostly ducks and geese.

I hope you guys liked these simple photos. I actually have to say that the museum is such a  great place for photography, there's just so many things to take pictures of that I actually ended up locked inside the museum because I had spent an extra hours out taking pictures of just about everything in sight! If you enjoy photography you would be doing yourself a great favour by going here. But even if you don't, just give a shot, it has an atmosphere like nowhere in Reykjavík! You've been warned!


See also:

Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum - Christmas Opening

Top 9 Museums in Reykjavik

Plan Your Drive: The National Museum of Iceland

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