Greinasafni: Icelandic Times einnig undir: Söfn
The National Museum of Iceland: Take a Stroll through Iceland’s Entire History
What better way to fully experience Iceland than to stroll through its history? The National Museum of Iceland’s permanent exhibition entitled The Making of a Nation, allows you to walk through Iceland’s timeline, from settlement to the present day. The main exhibition is divided into seven time periods starting with 800-1000: The Dawn of the Icelandic Society and ending with 1900-2000: Into the Modern World. Each period is filled with items and information representing the development of Iceland; from heathens to Christians, from Norwegian and Danish rule to independence and from Vikings to the modern man. Every time period has a key item which represents the trends of that time, these key items  include a church door, a bible, a religious icon of ambiguous origin and a carved drinking horn.

The Icelandic Psyche Explored
Helga Vollertsen, from the National Museum of Iceland, says that the  exhibition is meant to motivate theguest to ask themselves fundamental questions about what makes Iceland the way we see it today: “The exhibition entails a modern interpretation and reevaluation of Iceland’s history, which is of course closely connected to the Icelandic psyche.” The exhibition is concluded in  the 20th century, which is cleverly represented with a conveyer belt. “The conveyor belt is meant to symbolize the excess, mass production, disjointed fashion trends and technological advances which predominated the 20th century. The items on the belt are of a very varied nature, there you can see shoes made out of hide next to modern trainers, the first computer, a soda maker next to a carved out dinner plate, home pregnancy tests, cell phones and gas masks. The conveyer belt is also meant to symbolize Iceland’s international connections. At the beginning of the exhibition you can see the outlines of a viking ship, on which the original settler came to Iceland and thus established a connection to the outside world and at the end of the exhibition you see the conveyer belt, which is our modern time connection.”

Modern Standards
In 2004 the museum reopened its doors after extensive refurbishment and the now modernized museum offers a wide variety of services to its guests. Helga says that with its new dynamic exhibition the Museum hopes to fulfill all the modern standards required of such an establishment, which keeps the nation´s treasures safe. The renovated museum makes full use of multimedia technology with several interactive screens placed throughout the museum, where the user can explore the different time periods at their own pace. You can decide how thoroughly you want to explore the periods, how often and for how long, giving you a chance to delve into Iceland’s history as it were. Each time period has an audio  section where you can hear the way people spoke in their own time.  The National Museum also offers audio commentary in five different languages.


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