Friday, 30 August 2013

Iceland - turf houses

More photographs from our holiday in Iceland.

I glimpsed several of these old Turf roofed buildings from the coach as we travelled around southern Iceland. We stopped to take a closer look at these. 

They have recently been used as farm buildings, I don't know whether they were ever houses.

We also saw this little turf roofed church which was very simple but very beautiful inside.

Turf roof houses are very traditional Icelandic houses especially in the country areas. We saw examples of some that had been rebuilt at the folk museum at Skogar.

The museum has rebuilt several original buildings in the style of a farm in the 19th Century, The farmhouse nearest with the three white windows was originally built in 1896.

Inside it was furnished as it might have been in the 1800s, the bedroom below is around 1838

and the parlour from1896.

I don't have a picture of the kitchen which was quite dark but this is the view from the window.

Also at the museum were replicas of more recent houses, some of which were lived in until the 1970s before being dismantled and rebuilt at the museum.

The following pictures may be a bit muddled. The disadvantage of going on an escorted tour is that you don't always have quite enough time to spend at some places before having to move on. While everyone was having lunch, I decided to go hungry and run about seeing as much as possible - I can eat anytime but I might not see this again!

Anyway, here are some photographs from the interior of two of the houses from the first half of the twentieth century.



and sleeping.

There was a lot of embroidery on display, some of it quite delicate. Its difficult to judge from a museum but these houses certainly felt very loved, filled with  home made furnishings.



and pictures.

I liked the raised 3D effect of these flowers, imagine sitting in lamp light working on pieces like this.

Lastly a picture of the school house built in 1911.


VintagePretty said...

Oh wow! This really reminds me of Skansen, with the idea of preserving buildings by 'uplifting' them and putting them into a museum so that they can be maintained. It's absolutely fascinating to see the similarities and differences. Obviously they used a lot of wood, whereas in Scotland they used stone, but they do remind me of houses I've seen in Scotland and certainly of houses in Sweden.

Really interesting post :) Will you be going back to Iceland again?

Tash from

willow said...

Its interesting that you comment on the amount of wood used as wood was a scarce resource in Iceland and all the wood for buildings and furniture was obtained from wrecked ships around the coast. The seas and currents are treacherous around Iceland and obviously provided enough wood for the needs of the relatively small population.

I would love to go back to Iceland, to spend more time and go hiking in the interior and/or to go in winter when there are only 4-5 hours of daylight and perhaps glimpse the aurora borealis. My husband on the other hand has no wish to return so sadly it may be my only visit.

I think that you would love it also. The openness and space, the wonderful light for photography and with your love of literature, all the history wrapped up in the Icelandic Sagas. I hope someday you get the opportunity to go.

Pidlimája said...

Would you plase share with us the location of the turf houses on the top photos? :)

willow said...

Here is a link to the location of the little church and turf houses.

They are only a few hundred yards off the main circular route in southern Iceland.

or you could type " Núpsstaður, Iceland" into google maps

Hope this helps

Pidlimája said...

Thank you very much! :)