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“small but sophisticated”

The Settlement Exhibition
Ranked #12 of 182 things to do in Reykjavik
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: At The Settlement Exhibition in Adalstraeti visitors can experience the settlement of Iceland in late 9th century through two remarkable exhibitions. The Settlement Exhibition revolves around an excavated site, the actual remains of a Viking Age longhouse that have been preserved in situ. The exhibition gives an invaluable insight into the life and times of the first people to inhabit the Reykjavik area and the ways in which they adapted to their new environment. The exhibition is founded on archaeological and other scientific research and introduces visitors to the latest facts and interpretations forwarded by a range of experts who have concentrated on this period of our history. Settlement Sagas comprises some of the nation's most renowned documents, many of them written in the twelfth century but relating events that go back as far as 874 AD, when the first settlers are said to have come to Iceland. Recognised by UNESCO as having outstanding cultural value These two exhibitions hosted by the Reykjavik City Museum afford an unprecedented view into the origins of Icelandic culture. One is based on archaeological findings from the days of the Settlement and the other on manuscripts documenting the same period. This is also the first time Iceland's literary heritage and archaeological history have been placed side by side for the general public. In addition, the preservation of these precious manuscripts is one of the reasons why UNESCO officially designated Reykjavik as a City of Literature in 2011.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

This exhibit focuses on just one archaeological site to define and explore the earliest history of Icelandic human settlement. It is very well designed and utilizes modern, interactive digital technology to provide a detailed and three dimensional view of this era. I was impressed with the effective way it combined sophisticated geology/history/archaeology with user-friendly visual features. I was also very appreciative that it was open on Christmas Eve when few other places were :-)

Thank sarahrus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 25, 2014

Great exhibition. It's quite small, but definitely lots to see and very well composed. It's essentially an unearthed settlement in it's original location which a very modern museum has been built around. It's very interactive with lots of videos and buttons to press which lights up parts of the settlement and draws your attention to different areas for an explanation. It's a little bit expensive for how long it takes to go round which is it's only draw back, but still good value and worth a see. The gift shop is lovely too for some unusual gifts! Also check out the fascinating timeline showing the colonisation of humanity across the globe when you walk in above the stairs- we probably spent more time looking at that to be honest! Still, very cool!

Thank Joanne N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

A compact but intelligently designed museum that gives a good introduction to the settlement of Iceland.

The displays wrap around a real-life excavation of a long house that was uncovered in 2001. A must for museum lovers.

Thank brisbane21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

Expected to pop in here and spend half an hour, but in the end we spent almost two hours and time time flew buy. Really interactive and using the free audio tour we were able to spend time finding out more about the first settlers in Iceland. Highly recommended! If you buy the Reykjavik "welcome card", free entry to this museum is included....and lockers also included for rucksacks and coats, which were very welcome!

Thank Cretanatheart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Located on the oldest street in Reykjavik, this series of exhibits interpret the finds from an archaeological dig on the site. The main find was a Viking longhouse from the time of settlement. Beautifully put together and really helps to put the beginnings of the city into context.

There are coat hooks where you can hang your outer layers while you enjoy the warm and lockers for your valuables should you feel the need.

Thank LuckyeddieBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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