Iceland: Charming Glaumbaer Sod Farmhouses/Folk Museum

Glaumbaer Farm-Skagafjordur Folk Museum Complex, Skagafjordur, Northern Iceland

Glaumbaer Farm-Skagafjordur Folk Museum Complex, Skagafjordur, Northern Iceland

Herringbone-Patterned Turf

Herringbone-Patterned Turf

Outside of Three Rooms in Sod Complex

Outside of Three Rooms in Sod Complex

Outside Windows Surrounded by Grass

Outside Windows Surrounded by Grass

Inside Window Looking Out (dandelions growing on roof)

Inside Window Looking Out (dandelions growing on roof)

Main Central Corridor (light beams come from glass skylights)

Main Central Corridor (light beams come from glass skylights)

Inside Closeup of Sod Walls

Inside Closeup of Sod Walls

Cookware on Stone Fireplace

Cookware on Stone Fireplace

Painted Glassware (middle jug features a swallow)

Painted Glassware (middle jug features a swallow)

Colorful Painted Chest (inscription says Year 1859)

Colorful Painted Chest (inscription says Year 1859)

Beautiful Driftwood Bureau

Beautiful Driftwood Bureau

Teapot and Box (inscription says Anna 1796)

Teapot and Box (inscription says Anna 1796)

Traditional Icelandic Instrument called the “Langspil” (similar to a violin)

Traditional Icelandic Instrument called the “Langspil” (similar to a violin)

Sheep Horn Display

Sheep Horn Display

Historic Drawing of Glaumbaer Farm

Historic Drawing of Glaumbaer Farm

The Glaumbaer Farm/Skagafjordur Folk Museum is located next to the Glaumbaerjarkirkja Church in Skagafjordur, Iceland. This charming sod farmhouse complex is preserved as it was used in the 18th and 19th centuries. The houses are built from sod laid in herringbone patterns with a stone base, and reinforced inside by imported lumber or driftwood. The farm complex contains 13 buildings or “rooms” connected by a central corridor leading to sleeping and communal areas, dining room, kitchen, pantry, blacksmith shop, storerooms, and guest rooms. Turf was used as a building material because it was readily available, provided excellent insulation, and could easily last a century. Lumber was used sparingly because it had to be imported (Iceland has few trees).   Volcanic stone was not used because the cost of mortar was too high. The antique furniture and household goods are especially interesting. More info is at: http://www.glaumbaer.is/is/information/glaumbaer-farm/glaumbaer-english-1

 

About Pam
Richard and Pam lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 14 years (1987-1999 and 2008-2011). They lived in Florida 13 years previously, until returning in July 2011 to present. They hope their photography will encourage you to get out and discover nature's beauty in your own backyard, parks, and wild places. Click on any pictures on this blog to see them full size with additional details.

10 Responses to Iceland: Charming Glaumbaer Sod Farmhouses/Folk Museum

  1. The sod homes are cool, love the Langspil and sheep horns!

  2. Pam says:

    They were really interesting! The Langspil reminded me of the Psaltry in the Great Smokey Mountains. I would love to have that sheep horn display – really neat.

  3. Very interesting post Pam, and nice photos. I’ve always thought that sod houses were an excellent idea, and am surprised that they aren’t more prevalent in cold climates around the world. These photos say warm and cozy to me, and I’m glad you shot some interior shots. On a practical note, the photo that has grass growing on the inside – I assume that these areas are between-building hallways, and that interior walls in living spaces are covered with lumber. Is this the case? ~James

    • Pam says:

      James,
      You got this exactly right! The lumber was saved for the living areas, and the exposed sod was in the hallways, storerooms, and cooking areas. I read something interesting about the sleeping arrangements. They slept two people per bed for warmth (and those beds were small!), and since the bedrooms were not heated, they had a special board to tuck down the covers tight for the night. I assume you saw about the big earthquake in Napa, California, this morning? Biggest one since we were there in 1989.

      • I did hear Pam, and when I first saw the headlines it said there were no injuries, which I found hard to believe. A 6 is a big shake, and I’m sure that the damage is going to be extensive. As you know, hurricanes make FL and the southeast difficult sometimes, but earthquakes scare me. At least, with hurricanes there’s enough warning for evacuation and planning. One of these days, there’s going to be a whopper in the Bay Area, and the lose of life will be huge. ~James

        • Pam says:

          Injuries are reported now. 6 is a really big shake, and that area is mud that magnifies it. Honestly I prefer hurricanes, because at least I have warning. When we lived in the San Francisco, area, we really had to make an effort to live with the possibility of an earthquake. Nothing could be placed where it might fall on you while you were sleeping, water heaters had to be strapped to the wall, breakables had to be secured with special gel to the bookshelves, etc. It was never out of the back of our minds. Our post about our earthquake stories is at: https://naturetime.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/our-past-earthquake-experiences/

  4. mrsbearfoot says:

    I love the sod houses and wouldn’t mind living in one. 🙂
    Good thing you were able to visit Iceland when you did!

    Lindy

    • Pam says:

      Yes we were lucky! And our only really bad weather day was one dedicated to driving. Two more posts and I’ll have finished “Iceland”. Good thing – I have some Florida ones ready to go.

  5. elisa ruland says:

    You and Richard have been busy!! Great shots.

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