.Beautiful White Snow in Reykjavík, Iceland's Capital City

One winter day the whole of Reykjavík got covered in thick white beautiful snow, which made my city look like Winter Wonderland. I went for a walk to my local park, Laugardalur valley on which I wrote a previous blog - and then headed for the city centre. Join me for a walk in the beautiful snow :)

Let's first visit Hljómskálagarður park, which got a new sculpture park back in 2014. It is called Perlufestin or the String of Pearls and is dedicated to Icelandic women, who worked as sculptors.
Snow in Reykjavík city centre

We have a great respect for our male sculptors and there are museums dedicated to the memory of the Icelandic sculptors Einar Jónsson, Ásmundur Sveinsson and Sigurjón Ólafsson. But women had been kind of left out of this equation. I am so happy that such a lovely sculpture park was created :)

There are 6 statues by 6 pioneer female sculptors in the park: the Settler woman by Gunnfríður Jónsdóttir, the Mermaid by Nína Sæmundsson, Man and woman by Tove Ólafsson, Boy and girl by Þorbjörg Pálsdóttir, Son by Ólöf Pálsdóttir and Nafarinn by Gerður Helgadóttir.

All of the statues were covered in snow and it looked like the Man and Woman in the statue in the photo above were hugging each other for warmth.

Snow in Reykjavík city centre

The Mermaid is located in the Tjörnin pond. There is a story behind the statue of the mermaid. It was originally put on the pond in 1959, but was blown up on New Year's Eve 1960 by angry townsmen. Fortunately, the artist had made a copy of the statue and that copy is now located in our pond. I think it is a beautiful addition to the pond.

I am going to add a special blog on this corner of Hljómskálagarður park later on so you can see how lovely it looks in the summertime as well. Japanese cherry trees have been planted here, so in a few years, it will look even more beautiful than today.

Snow in Reykjavík city centre

During the winter time if there is enough frost the Tjörnin pond freezes up and becomes a popular skating location. When I took my photos it was -8 degrees C and the ice was thick enough for walking on it, but there was too much snow for skating.

I used to skate here a lot when I was a little girl and lived close to the pond.

Snow in Reykjavík city centre

On the west side of the Tjörnin pond, we walk by a bench with a lonely figure sitting in it. It is a statue of our City Poet, Tómas Guðmundsson (1901-1983). Tómas was one of Iceland's major poets of the 20th century. 

During a long period of snow in the winter of 2012, the police got a call from a concerned citizen telling them that a man had been sitting on a bench for the longest time. And that he might be in trouble. The police went there only to find this statue covered in snow :)

Snow in Reykjavík city centre

The majority of the Icelandic nation is of the Lutheran religion. Many foreign visitors believe that Hallgrímskirkja church on Skólavörðuholt is our cathedral, but the Lutheran Cathedral Dómkirkjan is in the very centre of Reykjavík, next to the Parliament building. 

The episcopate of Iceland used to be situated at Skálholt, but the seat was moved to Reykjavík - and the Lutheran Cathedral was built and consecrated in 1796, making it the oldest remaining church in Reykjavík.
Snow in Reykjavík city centre

Let's walk through Grjótaþorpið village, the oldest part of Reykjavík. The village was built from 1786-1886 and here you can see lovely old multicoloured timber houses. 

The photo above is of an old timber house in Grjótaþorpið village called Vaktarabærinn. See the pile of snow in front of it? This is a car, totally covered in snow! This is what our cars sometimes look like when we go to work on winter mornings!

Beautiful White Snow in Reykjavík, Iceland's Capital City

This beautiful yellow building, with the lovely Christmas bell in front of it, is called the Pier House. It was built in 1863 and served as a warehouse. The Reykjavík pier was immediately north of the Pier Houseand there was an open passageway going through the building leading to the pier.

Thus the Pier House served as a gateway into Reykjavík, making it a very important building in these days. The Pier House is now a restaurant and the Reykjavík pier is located further north.

Snow in Reykjavík city centre

When it snows so much in Reykjavík one has to beware of icicles and snowbanks falling from the roofs of houses. This is ever so dangerous, and on several occasions, I have had snowbanks falling right in front of my face. Icicles are much worse as they can cause serious harm.

So during thaw never walk close to buildings with icicles, which is especially difficult downtown and in the west-part of old Reykjavík, if the pavements (sidewalks) have not been cleared. It is either walking on the street (not very popular) or constantly looking up and trying to stay on the left side of the pavement - away from the icicles.

Beautiful White Snow in Reykjavík, Iceland's Capital City

My last stop on my walk in Reykjavík's centre is by Höfði HouseHöfði House (1909) is best known amongst foreigners as being the location for the Reykjavík Summit Meeting of Presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1986. Höfði House has been the official reception building since 1967 and a number of well-known people have been greeted here. 

Höfði House is said to be haunted by the unfortunate spirit of a young woman named Sólborg.

Notice how dark grey the sky is behind Höfði House - this was a blizzard approaching - and shortly after I took this photo everything was covered in snow with low visibility. As they say about the weather here in Iceland: "If you don't like the weather - wait for 5 minutes!" 

That is how unpredictable the Icelandic weather is, one never knows what to expect. I have often been asked the question: "What will the weather be like in (any given month)?" - and the only answer I have is: "Come prepared for all types of weather!".

Snow in Reykjavík city centreIt continued snowing and snowing and the beautiful thick snow in my city became so thick that there was actually more snow in Reykjavík than we had seen since 1937.

If you are visiting Iceland in the winter time, check out the most popular winter tours:

And if you want to drive yourself to the most beautiful sights, you can check out the selection of rental cars here. I have written one travel-blog about a winter visit outside of Reykjavík:

Have a lovely winter visit to Iceland :)

Contact Regína