Glaumbær Turf Houses | Exploring the Turf Structures

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Basic Information

  • Glaumbær turf houses have been turned into a museum for visitors.
  • Total of 13 buildings. 

Iceland seems to have a special thing for turf houses. This is why the country is the best spot if you want to have a look at amazing turf houses including Glaumbær Turf Houses. The historic church houses are situated in Skagafjörður in North-Iceland. The name Glaumbær is borrowed from the farms on which the turf houses are located.

Glaumbær turf houses give you a peek into the household of a bygone era in their natural setting. In Iceland, everyone used to live in a turf house. Some of them still grace the country and are considered important from a historical point of view. Most of them are preserved. Glaumbær turf houses are collectively turned into a museum for visitors.

Glaumbær turf houses in north Iceland

Exploring the Turf Structures

The farm comprises a total of 13 buildings. Inside the turf houses, you will get an insight into the settlement of Iceland in the ninth century. You will be fascinated to know that there were inhabitants in Glaumbær turf house until 1947. In 1952, one of the best museums in the country was built inside Glaumbær Turf Houses. The oldest parts of the turf houses go a long way back to the mid-18th century. While the newest addition to the turf structures was made between 1876-1879. You will find beautiful and spacious bedrooms, kitchen, pantry, living rooms, storage rooms, and smithy inside the turf houses. It is a wonder to witness how Icelandic people led such rich and content lives centuries back. The turf-roofed structures bring forth the stories of the past. There are segments that showcase traditional Icelandic households and farm tools, utensils, furniture among other things.

In 1947 Glaumbær was declared as a protected site. It now comes under the National Museum of Iceland. All the operations have been run by the Skagafjörður Heritage Museum since 1952.

Gilsstofa and Áshús are the two timber houses built on the museum ground. Gilsstofa is reconstructed from a domestic structure from the mid-nineteenth century. It displays a wooden sitting room from the middle of the 19th century. These structures could be displaced between farms. Gilsstofa was moved six times. Áshús was constructed between 1884 and 1886. The structure shows a unique and beautiful building style. You can see Vikings ruins in Glaumbær. There are tiny old structures and a Viking age longhouse from probably the 10th or 11th century.

Glaumbær turf houses in north Iceland

Interesting Historical Anecdotes from Glaumbær

Snorri Þorfinnsson and his parents used to live here in the early 11th century. Snorri is most probably among the first Europeans to be born in America. Snorri played a major role in the construction of the first church here at Glaumbær. He is one of two men considered to be responsible for the establishment of the Christianisation of Iceland. These historical anecdotes further enrich the turf houses. Hundreds of explorers visit here to know about these ancient tales and sagas.

Other Important Information

The opening hours differ for different months at Glaumbær. Visitors have to make a special request to the authorities to visit in January. In February and March, Glaumbær welcomes visitors on weekdays from 10:00 to 16:00. From April to October, it stays open daily with timings that differ. In November and December, the turf houses open from Monday to Friday between 10:00 – 16:00.

There is no entrance fee for children till the age of 17. For 18 and above, 1700 ISK per person is charged. Students, seniors, and persons with disabilities have to pay 1500 ISK per person to enter. If you are traveling in a group with more than six people, you can avail discount on the entrance fee.

How to Reach Glaumbær

You have to drive towards the northwest of Iceland in the Skagafjörður region to reach Glaumbær. As you drive north, the turf houses are situated just at a short detour off the Ring Road (Route 1).

Glaumbær turf houses in north Iceland

Glaumbær Turf Houses on a map

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