Skógar Museum is a cultural heritage museum in south Iceland.
Photo from the Skógar Museum
Located near one of the most popular waterfalls in the country, Skógafoss, the museum is easy to reach by travelling Route 1 South from Reykjavík. It is often overlooked because of the fame of Skógafoss, which stands at sixty metres tall, falls with immense power, and can be approached very closely.
A visit to the museum, however, will be greatly rewarding for any interested in Icelandic history, folklore and culture.
Skógar Museum has over 16,000 artefacts from Iceland’s history, and boasts an open-air museum, a folk museum and a technical museum. It has a vast array of exhibitions on how Icelanders have lived throughout their history.
Agriculture on this barren land, for example, has been essential to the survival of the Icelandic people since settlement. The museum has a wealth of displays as to how this was achieved through a variety of creative means.
Similarly, Iceland’s fisheries have been part of its lifeblood for centuries, and the evidence and information on display explains how this technology developed from rowboats to the trawlers of today.
The exhibitions on communication and transport help bring to light how isolated Iceland was throughout its history and how resourceful people were, while others on handicrafts and folklore show the Icelandic imagination and creativity.
One particular artefact of note is a handle, said to be from a chest full of a giant’s treasure. A man attempted to retrieve the chest from Skógafoss waterfall, only for this handle to break off and the gold to have been lost forever.
The Skógar Museum is spread over six buildings. Entrance is 2000 ISK for adults, 1500 ISK for seniors, 1000 ISK for children 12-17, and free for those younger. It is open from June to August from 09:00 to 18:00, and from 10:00 to 17:00 in September.