The Culture Houes was built in the period 1906 – 1908 to house the Natinal Library and National Archives of Iceland. The house was opened to the public in 1909.
The Culture House was also home to Iceland’s National Museum and Natural History Museum for several decades. It housed for a long time all the main treasures of the Icelandic nation under the same roof.
The Culture House is a heritage building and its use today takes into consideration the building´s protected and historical value, the building itself is an architectural monument.
The Culture House serves a common center for Icelandic cultural heritage institutions with high-quality exhibitions on selected national treasures, e.g. the manuscripts that hold the sagas.
The exhibition gives visitors the chance to delve into the collections of six different cultural institutions: from thousand-year-old treasures to the latest in Icelandic art. Its focus is on the visual expression of the ideas we have about the world, our environment and ourselves. The materials and techniques may change over the years, but the viewpoints remain the same. This is a unique journey through Iceland's visual legacy, offering an innovative guide to a nation's cultural history.
A new permanent exhibit on the visual history of Iceland called Points of View, opened in April 2015. It draws primarily from the National Museum, the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum, as well as the National Archives, the National and University Library and the Árni Magnússon Institute.