Based in two of Borgarnes’s oldest buildings, the Settlement Center is devoted to recreating Iceland’s earliest days, including one of the best-known heroes of the Icelandic Sagas, Egil Skalla-Grimsson. We also offer a cozy licensed restaurant, a café and a souvenir shop.
The center is made up of three buildings: the warehouse, the merchant house and the reception hall.
Built in the late 19th century, this former warehouse served as storage space for the adjacent trading store known as Búðarklettur. The old warehouse came into the ownership of the local authorities in 1971.
The building has been refurbished under the supervision of the architect Magnus Skulason with funds made available through the Heritage Society. They commissioned the building contractor Stefan Olafsson to refurbish the building.
The partially sunken basement floor has rough-hewn stonewalls. This atmospheric space lends itself to the staging of the Egils Saga exhibition.
These buildings are two of the finest examples of heritage architecture in Borgarnes today.
The design by architect Sigridur Sigthorsdottir has paid particular attention to complementing the architecture of the existing buildings.
The Settlement Center opened its doors to the public on 13 May 2006.
The idea of the Settlement Center was Kjartan Ragnarsson and Sigríður Margrét Guðmundsdóttir in the summer of 2003. They introduced it to local councilors who took it well and preparations began. A business plan was prepared under the guidance of employees at SSV where the business model was decided which meant that the operation should be under the control of Sigríður and Kjartan. When the shows were in preparation at the packhouse next to the restaurant, children of former salesman Ólafur Sverrisson and his wife Anna Ingadóttir decided to buy the restaurant and adapt the planned operation of Landnámssetur in memory of their parents. They made improvements to the house and the installation of the exhibitions, and have always been important backbones of the Settlement Center.
A number of companies supported the installation of the exhibitions, which include the Mýrasýsla Savings Bank, VÍS, Samson, Ölgerð Egils Skallagrímsson, Orkuveitan, Samskip, Límtré Vírnet, and Loftorka. The municipality Borgarbyggð was very important in supporting the establishment of Settlement Center, giving it the exchange rate for the first operating years. The Culture Council of West Iceland has also supported the cultural work, which has been a permanent part of the business from the beginning. All of these parties are very much appreciated.
The Settlement Center was opened on May 13, 2006