Eldheimar is a museum of remembrance that gives visitors the chance to go back in time and learn about the dramatic volcanic eruption in Vestmannaeyjar. The main focus of the exhibition is one of the houses the eruption had buried in lava.
The exhibition focuses on the 1973 volcanic eruption in Vestmannaeyjar, without a doubt one of Iceland‘s biggest natural disasters. You will get a glimpse into people’s lives on Heimaey before the eruption that would change their lives forever. The people of Heimaey had to leave their homes in the middle of the night and evacuate the island. Many of them never saw their homes or any of their belongings gain.
The highlight of the exhibition is the house on Gerdisbraut 10, the home of Mrs. Gerdur Sigurðardóttir, Mr. Gudni Olafsson, and their 3 young children. With the youngest one only a few weeks old, they were forced to leave their home in the middle of the night. They could only take a bottle for the baby. A few days later, their home had drowned in ash and lava. Gerdisbraut 10 has now been excavated. It shows how cruelly nature treated the homes of so many islanders.
Eldheimar’s Surtsey exhibition
Eldheimar also covers the Surtsey eruption, the island that emerged from the ocean south of Heimaey Island in 1963. The Surtsey eruption lasted for almost four years. Only scientists are allowed on the island to monitor how new ecosystems come to life. Surtsey became a UNESCO’s World Heritage site.