The historical Glaumbær Turf House in North-Iceland

As you might have noticed then I adore turf houses in Iceland and hope you have not got enough of my passion for these interesting Icelandic houses ;)  Whenever I travel around Iceland I seek out turf houses and turf churches, they are just so characteristic for my country.

Everybody lived in a turf house in Iceland, both rich and poor and there are still several turf houses in Iceland, most of which have been preserved.

There is a lovely historic turf house in Skagafjörður in North-Iceland. It is called Glaumbær farm and should not be missed while travelling in this area.

The historical Glaumbær Turf House in North-Iceland

People lived in Glaumbær turf house until 1947. A farm has stood on this site since the settlement of Iceland in ca 874 - give or take a few years. The present farmhouse consists of 13 buildings and the "newest" addition to the turf house was built in 1876-1879. The oldest parts of the turf house date back to the mid 18th century.

In 1947 Glaumbær was declared as a conserved site and is now owned by the National Museum of Iceland. It has been run as a museum by the Skagafjörður Heritage Museum since 1952. If you visit the Glaumbær turf house and have a look inside you can see how life in Iceland was back in the 18th and 19th century. 

The historical Glaumbær Turf House in North-Iceland

Glaumbær is quite a historic farm as here lived Snorri Þorfinnsson and his parents in the 11th century (around 1010). Snorri is probably the first European to be born in America while his parents were on exploration there long before Columbus discovered America. 

The historical Glaumbær Turf House in North-Iceland

Snorri built the first church here at Glaumbær and is one of two men considered to be responsible for the Christianisation of Iceland. Snorri's mother, Guðríður Þorbjarnardóttir, was the widow of Þorsteinn, who was Erik the Red's son and the brother of Leif the Lucky, who discovered America. Guðríður then married Þorfinnur karlsefni and had Snorri by him. Guðríður was the most-widely travelled woman in Iceland from the 11th century until the 20th century.

So one can see that some very well known characters in Icelandic history lived on Glaumbær farm. I have written about these people in another travel-blog.

The historical Glaumbær Turf House in North-Iceland

There are also 2 timber houses on the museum ground, one is called Gilsstofa and the other one Áshús. Gilsstofa contains the offices of the museum and a museum store and in Áshús there is a café, Áskaffi, and exhibitions on housekeeping in the first decade of the 20th century. 

The historical Glaumbær Turf House in North-Iceland

Gilsstofa shows how a wooden sitting room was in the middle of the 19th century. These kinds of rooms were added to turf houses before wooden houses were built in the late 19th century. These rooms could be moved between farms.

Áshús was built in 1883-1886 and shows the building style that took over following the turf houses.

Viking ruins have been discovered at Glaumbær, some 150 metres from the current turf farm.

The historical Glaumbær Turf House in North-Iceland

Opening hours of Glaumbær museum are May 20th - September 20th from 09:00-18:00. You pay the admission fee inside Glaumbær farm.

It is lovely visiting Glaumbær, just like stepping back in time, so I recommend stopping there and having a look around. There is a limit though to how many people can fit in a turf house at the same time and how much intrusion these old turf houses can handle, so let's treat them with respect.

The historical Glaumbær Turf House in North-Iceland

Driving north on ring road 1, turn on road 75 by Varmahlíð in Skagafjörður. Coming from Varmahlíð, Glaumbær is on your right-hand side. Glaumbær turf farm is located at 65° 36,675'N, 19° 30,285'W.

To visit Glaumbær turf house you can rent a car in Reykjavík or go on a self-drive tour, f.ex.:  

I also found a guided tour to Glaumbær from Reykjavík 2-Day Tour to North Iceland | Horses, Turf Houses & Northern Lights, which I think might be a good choice.

Also, check out the myriad of fascinating tours North-Iceland has to offer.

Have a lovely time at Glaumbær :)

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