National Museum of Iceland

To get up to speed on Iceland’s 1,200 years of human history there’s only one place to go.

The National Museum of Iceland has a collection assembled since 1863 and moved to its current, rather nondescript building in 1950. This gives no hint of the marvels that are in store inside, laid out over two floors.

The most treasured artefact is the Valþjófsstaður door from the early 13th century.

The relief in the pine wood echoes the story of Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, a Medieval Arthurian romance.

This is one of many fascinating artefacts in the permanent Making of a Nation exhibition, which has over 2,000 objects and 1,000 photographs, beginning with a longboat and ending with a modern airport.

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