One of Iceland’s most beloved authors is without a doubt the Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness and if you want to really know Iceland and its people you have to familiarize yourself with Laxness – both the character and his works. What better way to get to know this eccentric genius than to explore his longtime home and workplace, which has been opened to the public as a museum.
Laxness settled in Gljúfrasteinn in 1945 with his wife and family, where he lived until his death in 1998. The museum is for the most part unchanged from when Laxness lived there and many say that the house feels like Laxness has just stepped out for a moment. You’ll see where he ate, slept, read, played music and his workstation, where you can see the worn down pencil stubs he’d use to write with.
The museum comes with a guided audio commentary, in which you can even hear recordings of the author himself, as if he were still there, guiding you through his own home.
Although it is
highly recommended to pick up one of his timeless novels which are available in over 40 languages it is not a prerequisite to enjoy the wonders of Gljúfrasteinn. Laxness was a unique man who enjoyed the finer things in life and decorated his home accordingly. You’ll see paintings by many of Iceland’s most prominent painters and art pieces from all over the world. Laxness was also an avid nature lover and there are several beautiful walking paths around the house.
The current proprietors put special emphasis on keeping Gljúfrasteinn alive and busy, like Laxness himself would have wanted it. There are a wide variety of exciting events held in Gljúfrasteinn all year round. Among those are the Sunday living room concerts, which are held all summer.