Glaumbær, Iceland

Glaumbær Historic Farms
Glaumbær Historic Farms

Glaumbær at a Glance

Glaumbær is located about 14km outside Varmahlið. It is the site of an immaculately preserved 18th century turf farm with a farmhouse made up of 13 different buildings, all linked together, with each having its own function. The rustic buildings are a charming and potent reminder of rural life in Iceland in the 18th and 19th centuries, and are made of timber, stone, and turf, with the latter laid out in long strips in a herringbone pattern between the stone.

A timber structure adjacent to the farm buildings is home to the Skagafjörður folk museum. Here, visitors will get a glimpse into life from a bygone time with a collection of traditional costumes, kitchen utensils, furniture, instruments, spinning wheels, and blacksmith tools that tell their own story. As well as demonstrating the country's age-old building techniques, Glaumbær was also home to GudridurÞorbjarnardóttir and her husband Thorfinnur Karlsefni. The couple travelled to North America where Gudridur gave birth to a son, SnorriÞorfinnsson, who is thought to be the first European child born in North America. After his birth in 1003, the family returned to their homeland where Snorri lived for the rest of his life. Nowadays, there is a statue of Snorri and his mother, the work of sculptor ásmundur Sveinsson, in the graveyard adjacent to the church, and this marks Snorri's burial place.

It is said that a farmhouse has stood on the hill at Glaumbær since 900 AD (in Settlement times). The ages of the buildings that are currently here are varied, with the oldest - the kitchen and middle badstofa - believed to be in much the same condition as they were when built in the middle of the 18th century, wile the newest structures were added in 1876-1879. The interlinking passages that connect the individual buildings have not been changed over the centuries.