Abandoned Icelandic Turf House

Before we start telling you all about this beautiful abandoned house we want to state that all the pictures are made by https://www.facebook.com/WimvandeWaterFotografie/

Recently we were in the beautiful country of Iceland. When we were talking to the owners of our Airbnb about our unusual hobby they guided us in the direction of this abandoned turf house. After making our way through the waist-deep snow for more than a kilometre, we arrived at this tiny abandoned turf house. Turf, also known as peat, is the accumulation of decayed vegetation or organic matter.

This is the first glance we got of the abandoned Turf house

The Icelandic turf houses were the product of the difficult climate. They offered superior insulation compared to buildings solely made of wood or stone. The materials that they used to construct these houses with were easily to find in the countryside of Iceland.

This is a very traditional house and this was the way that they built it for thousands of yours. This one had been constructed in 1950 and is mostly made of turf, stone and grass. Even in the Viking age, they used this building style to construct houses.

Oval bedroom

This house belonged to Osvaldur Knudsen, he was a painter and a filmmaker and he also built the house himself. The people in the town said that he lived in this place his whole life and he was very proud of it. After his death around the year 2000, the house fell into the hands of the government and they did not really care about the place. That is why it is in such a bad state today…

But there is hope! The house has been bought by a man named Hannes Larusson and he is planning to restore it and make it into a national monument. Hannes buys turf houses all around the country of Iceland and restores them. This is the link to Hannes‘ website: http://islenskibaerinn.is/

The house is really small, I guess around 50 square meters. But that is very logical: the bigger the house , the harder it is to heat up all the rooms. In winter the temperatures in Iceland can reach around -30 degrees centigrade.

A quadruple bedroom.

There is a reason why there is only one large bedroom in this place. In 1950 they did not have heating like nowadays. The inhabitants of this house would all sleep together in this big bedroom, so they would only have to heat up one bedroom and their body heat would keep each other warm. Very cosy.

If you enjoyed the pictures and the history definitely check out the youtube video we made about it:

2 comments

  1. When I was in school at one time we were studying Sweden. I was enchanted by what they called cupboard beds, or box beds. They were up off the floor – sometimes quite high, with drawers and storage underneath, and you closed the doors once in bed and were nestled into a little nook. The reason being: your body heat would keep the smaller area warm and trap all the heat inside. They were a lot of times painted very elaborately in the Swedish style. I just wondered if that was the thinking behind the little “Hobbit Hole” bed. Thanks for sharing guys!

  2. Hi How could we know about palaces owners and time of building

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