Parhaat kokemukset
Ympärivuorokautinen asiakastuki
Vain palveluja, joiden laatu on varmistettu
Islannin matkojen asiantuntijat

Matkaopas: The French Museum

45 Google arvostelua
Keskimääräinen arvosana
Arvostelujen lukumäärä
-2°C - 2°C

The French Hospital and Museum showcases the deep historical ties between Iceland and France in restored buildings in the Eastfjords.The French Museum showcases the history of French sailors in Iceland. It's located in the historic French Hospital building in Faskrudsfjordur in the Eastfjords, which is sometimes called the "French Town in Iceland."

The French Museum, or "Frakkar á Íslandsmiðum" in Icelandic, is located in Faskrudsfjordur village in the Eastfjords. It occupies two significant buildings, the doctor's house and the historic French Hospital, both of which were initially constructed for injured French fishermen on Iceland's shores. Because of the historic presence of French sailors in the area, the town of Faskrudsfjordur is sometimes even called the French Town in Iceland.

The doctor's house, French hospital, and other French heritage buildings in the immediate area have been brought to life thanks to a large restoration project. It began in 2010 and finished in 2014 and includes a replica pier reflective of the era!

Today, the museum educates visitors about this unique Franco-Icelandic connection. The museum buildings are connected by an underground tunnel, and visitors can immerse themselves in the area's history inside. Captivating stories and an interactive experience on a French sailing ship make the exhibits fun and engaging.

The French Museum shares the French Hospital building with the 3-star Fosshotel Eastfjords, which can be a great option for your East Iceland accommodation. It also features a French-inspired restaurant!

You can discover the French Museum during self-drive tours that include the Eastfjords. Renting a car in Iceland offers complete freedom and flexibility to move at your own pace and visit the sites that interest you the most. All Ring Road tours allow time to explore the best places in East Iceland, and you can also find plenty of Eastfjords tours that will enhance your experience in the region.

History of the French Hospital and French Sailors in Iceland

Iceland and France have historic ties through fishing

Faskrudsfjordur between 1910 and 1920. The French Hospital is to the right, and the grand home of the French consul in Iceland is in the left center.

The French Museum in Faskrudsfjordur tells the story of French fishermen in Iceland, dating back to the 16th century when they first started cod fishing in Icelandic waters.

These fishermen, primarily from the regions of Normandy and Brittany, faced treacherous conditions, with up to 400 ships and 5,000 seamen lost to the sea. Despite the dangers, the rich cod waters became vital for many in France, especially in towns like Dunkerque.

To support their sailors, the French built facilities in Iceland. The first was an infirmary in 1896, then a Catholic chapel. In 1904, they constructed the French Hospital in Faskrudsfjordur, Iceland's most modern hospital at the time. The mortuary was built the same year, and the doctor's house in 1907.

The French heritage of Faskrudsfjordur is apparent when walking through the townSignificant cultural exchanges between the French and Icelanders occurred during this period, building mutual respect. The French-Icelandic relations are still evident in Faskrudsfjordur today, from French street signs to a French cemetery.

The French Museum offers visitors a glimpse into this unique chapter of history, complete with tales of bravery and tragedy and the legacy of the French influence in Iceland. As you travel around the country, you'll also find more memorials, cemeteries, and buildings that relate to French sailors in Iceland, especially in smaller fishing towns like Patreksfjordur and Þingeyri.

Restoration of the French Heritage Buildings in Faskrudsfjordur

The French Hospital had reached a very bad state

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Christian Bickel fingalo. No edits made. The French Hospital in 2010, before the restoration.

The restoration of the French heritage buildings in Faskrudsfjordur, completed in 2014, rejuvenated five structures. These were the French hospital, the doctor's house, the chapel, the infirmary, and the mortuary. This project has significantly contributed to the local culture and society.

The French Hospital, a cornerstone of this heritage, was built in 1904 to serve injured French fishermen. By the onset of the Second World War, despite the town's efforts to keep it operational, it was repurposed as residential accommodation in another part of the fjord before being abandoned in 1980.

The French Hospital is now the pride of Faskrudsfjordur

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Jkh5 Jóhanna Kristín Hauksdóttir. No edits made. The French Hospital in 2014, after the restoration.

The restoration project moved the hospital to its original site and resurrected it to its former glory. It now houses a modern hotel and the French-inspired restaurant L'Abri, merging historical preservation with contemporary amenities.

The doctor's house, originally the residence of the hospital's doctor, has had other uses in subsequent years. It has had roles as an elementary school and the town hall. 

The museum's entrance is in the doctor's house, located within the hotel's reception area and connected to the hospital by an underground tunnel. This setup provides visitors with a seamless transition from lodging to exploring the museum.

There are many beautiful historic buildings in FaskrudsfjordurPhoto from Fosshotel Eastfjords. No edits made

The chapel, still serving its original purpose, provides a space for quiet reflection and connects visitors with the spiritual heritage of the past. It is a reminder of the community's enduring values and traditions.

The infirmary is now a private home opposite the doctor's house. The old morgue was rebuilt and now functions as an office and storage space. 

The addition of a replica pier brings the maritime history of Faskrudsfjordur to life. It enriches the educational experience, offering a tangible link to the era of French fishermen in Iceland.

The French Museum Features and Exhibits

Step into the life of French fishermen in IcelandThe French Museum in Faskrudsfjordur offers a unique glimpse into the lives of French fishermen in Iceland. It blends historical depth with engaging exhibits in the historic French Hospital.

The museum features realistic wax figures depicting these fishermen's daily lives, vividly portraying their experiences. These figures help bring the past to life, adding a visual storytelling element that enriches the visitor experience.

The living conditions of French sailors were difficultAn intriguing aspect of the museum is the underground tunnel, designed to replicate the interior of a fishing schooner from that time. This area showcases the cramped sleeping quarters of the fishermen, emphasizing the challenging conditions they faced.

The tunnel walls have wave patterns with the names of sailors lost at sea. You will see them if you look closely.

On the museum's first floor, the focus is on the French arrival in Iceland, highlighted by a recreated hospital scene with a nurse and patient. The interactive lower level allows visitors to explore the ship's hold. It has tilted floors to simulate being at sea and a room dedicated to the sailors who never returned to France.
The French Museum has interesting exhibitsA digital exhibition details the harsh working conditions aboard these fishing vessels. This exhibit reflects the voyages' dangerous nature and significant impact on their home communities.

Through its carefully curated exhibits, the museum honors the Franco-Icelandic heritage. It also offers an immersive educational experience, shedding light on these adventurous fishermen's personal stories.

Food and Accommodation at the French Hospital

The L'Abri restaurant at the French Museum offers a unique dining experience on a floating pier boasting stunning fjord views.

Photo from Fosshotel Eastfjords. No edits made

The French hospital is home to a modern hotel, Fosshotel Eastfjords, a great 3-star hotel that has 47 rooms. It provides comfortable accommodation, perfect for those interested in the museum and exploring the beautiful Eastfjords.

Inspired by French vintage style, the hotel's decor adds a touch of elegance to each room. Each room has a satellite television, radio, and complimentary Wi-Fi, ensuring a pleasant stay for guests. As a bonus, museum entry is free for hotel guests!

The on-site L'Abri restaurant offers a unique dining experience on a floating pier boasting stunning fjord views. The menu blends French and Scandinavian flavors, emphasizing fresh, local ingredients from nearby farmers and fishermen. This combination of fine cuisine and scenic dining makes L'Abri a must-visit for food enthusiasts exploring the East fjords.

Location and How to Get There

The Faskrudsfjordur fjord is very beautiful

The Faskrudsfjordur village shares its name with the beautiful surrounding fjord.

The French Hospital and Museum is in Faskrudsfjordur, a village in the Eastfjords situated on a fjord of the same name. It's approximately 30 miles (49 kilometers) southeast of Egilsstadir, the largest town in East Iceland.

To get there from Egilsstadir, drive south along the Ring Road until you reach the turn-off to Faskrudsfjordur village. The museum is about 1.7 miles (2.8 kilometers) from the turn-off along Road 955.

For travelers driving the Ring Road from Southeast Iceland, Faskrudsfjordur is approximately 66 miles (106 kilometers) north of Djupivogur village and around  128 miles (206 kilometers) north of Hofn town.

In summer, it's easy to reach Faskrudsfjordur with a small affordable rental car. If you're traveling in winter, it's highly recommended to rent a powerful 4x4 vehicle, as the Eastfjords regularly experience heavy snow during the colder months.

Attractions Near the French Hospital and Museum

Explore the beauty of the Faskrudsfjordur fjord in Iceland

Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by VillageHero. No edits made.

Near the French Museum, visitors can explore several attractions that enrich the cultural and natural experience of Faskrudsfjordur.

The French Cemetery, or "Cimetière marin français," is a solemn site dedicated to the memory of French and Belgian sailors who lost their lives in Icelandic waters. It offers a quiet place for reflection on the bonds between France and Iceland and the dangers of the sea.

Gilsarfoss waterfall is a hidden gem, about 2.8 miles (4.5 miles) east of the French Museum. The waterfall offers a perfect spot for nature lovers looking to capture scenic photographs or enjoy a peaceful moment in the Icelandic wilderness.

Sandfell mountain is an opportunity for more adventurous visitors. Hiking up its slopes rewards with panoramic views of the fjord and the surrounding landscapes. It's an invigorating way to experience the rugged beauty of the Eastfjords.

French Days Festival in Faskrudsfjordur

Faskrudsfjordur is a tranquil town that comes to life during the French Days FestivalIf you happen to be visiting the Eastfjords in July, you may want to take part in some French-Icelandic-themed festivities! The French Days Festival in Faskrudsfjordur is an annual event celebrating the historical ties between Iceland and France, dating back to the 19th century when French fishermen frequented Icelandic waters. The festival typically takes place in July and features a variety of cultural activities, including music performances, art exhibitions, film screenings, and culinary delights.

The festival aims to foster cultural exchange and appreciation between the two nations, highlighting their shared heritage. It's one of the top festivals in Iceland, and it's a unique opportunity for cultural exploration and community engagement in the scenic Icelandic countryside.

Lähellä olevat nähtävyydet

Suosittuja luokkia

Link to appstore phone
Asenna Islannin suurin matkailusovellus

Lataa puhelimeesi Islannin suurin matkailumarkkinapaikka, jotta voit hallita koko matkaasi yhdessä paikassa

Skannaa tämä QR-koodi puhelimesi kameralla ja paina näkyviin tulevaa linkkiä lisätäksesi Islannin suurimman matkailumarkkinapaikan taskuusi. Lisää puhelinnumerosi tai sähköpostiosoitteesi, niin saat tekstiviestin tai sähköpostin, jossa on latauslinkki.