One of the things I’ve discovered this summer is that Reykjavík really is an exciting city. I always knew that it was somewhat great but I never knew just how great. Every single week since I launched this site, Reykjavík has managed to surprise me and every week I discover something new and exciting. All, more or less, in a walking distance from my home. I may be on a mushy high from the beautiful message of Gay Pride yesterday and the surprise wedding that I attended last night, where two of my lovely friends vowed out in nature to take care of each other till death do them part, but today I really feel blessed. Blessed to live somewhere I love. Blessed to have amazing people around me. Just blessed.
One of these great things that I’ve discovered this summer is the Settlement Exhibition Reykjavik 871±2 in Aðalstræti. I’ve walked past it probably a million times and never really thought about going in. Not until on the big museum date I had with my friend and the Reykjavík Welcome Card that is when we decided to pay the Settlement Exhibition a visit.
The Settlement Exhibition is built around an archaeological find in 2001 which turned out to be the oldest relics of human habitation in Reykjavík from dating back to before 871. The finding included a hall or a longhouse which is preserved at it’s original location with the exhibition built around it.
As I mentioned when I talked about the National Museum of Iceland, I’m a big fan of interactive exhibitions. I can still vividly remember the smell at the Jorvik Viking Center in York from when I visited it 24 years ago but the smell was a part of the exhibition and probably thought of to enhance the visitor’s experience. My experience was certainly enhanced. The Settlement Exhibition is all about interactivity and the ambient noises and the clever way this exhibition is set up make it a really interesting visit.
Apart from a bunch of buttons you can touch and the insight the exhibition offers into life during the settlement and the work of archaeologists, my favourite part the exhibition was a table. Not just any kind of table, a table you can touch and weird but wonderful things will happen.
The Settlement exhibition Reykjavik 871±2 received the NODEM award in 2006 for being visually appealing, instructive, and innovative. If I was giving out awards, the Settlement Exhibition would get the “Most pleasant surprise of the summer” award for sure. I really do recommend it.
The Settlement Exhibition is located in Aðalstræti 16, underneath Hotel Reykjavík Centrum. It’s open daily between 10:00 and 17:00 and the admission is 1000 ISK for adults. Children under 18 go for free and they offer special rates for groups 10+. They also offer guided tours up on request and you can get an audio guide in many different languages completely free of charge. The Settlement Exhibition is a part of the Reykjavík Welcome Card.