When visiting Iceland, you will probably be overwhelmed by the number of choice of all the interesting museums that introduce visitors with historical and archeological exhibits and facts of Iceland. Nevertheless I must admit that The Settlement Exhibition (Landnámssýningin – in Icelandic) is probably the one that explains Iceland’s historical development in the most interactive and contemporary manner.
It was developed in 2001. At that time some very significant archaeological remains were found on Aðalstræti and later on, after the scientists did their job on researching and examining the remains and items found in there, it turned out that the relics found are the oldest proof of human habitation in Reykjavík. The wall fragment dates back to around 871 AD. A hall (longhouse) of 10th century was also found and fragments both from the wall and hall are now exhibited in their original location.
The exhibition tells its visitors about life of the first settlers of Iceland – how they built their buildings, how they established their farms and what kind of lifestyles, habits and techniques they pursued in the undoubtedly harsh and always-changing Icelandic settings. All these stories are neatly interpreted trough an interactive multimedia environment, but the exhibition also includes information about numerous historic relics and objects that were found during the excavation.
Thus, the museum is interesting not only for history-enthusiasts and those particularly interested in history of Scandinavian countries, but also children who will certainly feel themselves fully entertained playing with interactive technology.
If you would like to get a guided tour around The Settlement Exhibition, make sure to book your visit beforehand. School-groups visiting exhibition can receive the tour for free, whereas for other groups, a fee will be charged.
The exhibition is located in the downtown area of Reykjavik (near Hotel Reykjavik Centrum).