Eiriksstaðir (IS)

Haukadalur is an area in the Northwest of the country. This was the home of the famous Erik the Red, around the year 1000 AD. He first became famous after he was sent into exile due to several murders committed. He was forced to leave the island and sailed west and hit on Greenland.

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The stories about this reached Iceland and soon after, Erik’s son, Leif Eriksson “the Lucky” also sailed west, but further than Greenland and reached North America.

In the 1950s, first excavations took place but it was not until the end of the 1990s that more comprising excavations were executed, revealing a 10th century longhouse – fitting well with the Sagas. This archaeological evidence finally placed the presence of Eirik and his family at a precise location in the valley. The archaeological site still remains visible to visitors. A replica of Eirík and Thjóðhild´s longhouse has been built on the eastern part of Stóra-Vatnshorn, some 100m (300 feet) from the ruins of their original longhouse. The reconstructed longhouse is based on the archaeological drawings of the excavated ruins following the original building layout. Visitors are welcomed by guides wearing typical Viking Age clothing and gear. Our guides are well versed in the history of the farm, its inhabitants and the Viking Age. Tours are on-going throughout each day, and we welcome your arrival!

The farmhouse was built through a local initiative with assistance from an advisory committee of archaeologists from the National Museum. It is based on research about the oldest known structures of this type from Iceland and neighbouring countries of the same period. All the timber used in the building is driftwood. The house was built using recreated Settlement Age tools which were reconstructed based on archaeological finds or ancient descriptions. The carvings and decorations are based on models from the same period. Panelling is used for the interior, and the ceiling rafters have a brushwood lining with a triple layer of turf to form the roof. The turf walls were built using turf clumps with twine connecting them, which was probably the original building technique as revealed during excavation.

Photo by: Steinunn Matthíasdóttir, https://www.flickr.com/photos/steinamatt/

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