Keldur Turf Houses: Reflecting Iceland’s Persona and Legacy


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When in Iceland, there are plenty of things that you can explore and collect memories for a lifetime. Iceland is a place that is sure to spellbind you with the spectacular natural beauty characterized by the enormously massive mountains, lava fields, floating icebergs, geysers, hot springs, black sand with diamond-like human-sized icebergs on the beach. Yes, and if you think this is all! Then you are simply missing out on a lot more things. To experience a true Icelandic environment, just pack your bags and head towards the Turf Houses, the historical farm of Keldur in South-Iceland. Let’s explore more about Turf Houses and history.

Keldur Turf House in south Iceland

Typical Icelandic Sod Houses

Keldur is listed amidst one of the only very few preserved turf houses often known as Sod Houses. It is definitely a worth visiting place that reflects the true Icelandic traditions that have been preserved over the years and still reflect the authenticity of Iceland. Grass-roofed houses are a part of Iceland’s persona and legacy that were built to protect the Vikings through the rough and harsh northern climates. There are traditionally built houses and completely different from the ones you see today. Unlike European countries, there are no ancient buildings, but what makes Iceland different from others and attract more people are the Turf houses.

Keldur Turf House in south Iceland

How Turf Houses Were Made In The Ancient Times

Torfbæir or the Turf houses were initially made using flat stones, turf, wood, along with the soil. It starts with the building a wooden frame followed by using the turf that was used in herringbone style with two layers that makes a perfect sealing agent for insulation; the turf is a perfect architectural material owing to its durability and susceptibility to wind, rain erosion. Another most important thing was to build doors that were made using quality wood. All the use of natural elements made the green-cloaked dwellings merge beautifully with the natural environment. Until the late 19th Century, most of the Icelandic dwellings were made using turf. The first turf houses appeared with the arrival of British and Norse settlers during – 9th and 11th centuries, during the Viking Age in Europe.

Mark Keldur on Your Must-Visit List

Experience the originally built turf house in Iceland and visit Keldur, which is one of the oldest too. It is beautifully built and maintained. One of the famous Brennu-Njals Saga (Ingjaldur Hoskuldsson) lived at the turf houses in Keldur, that adds to the historic value as well. The farm where these turf houses are located is near to the volcano Hekla; the rocks from its eruptions have long been used to build the houses. Keldur is open for visitors during the summer and makes a great spot to visit.

Keldur Turf House in south Iceland

Map of Keldur Turf House

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