Gunnarsstofnun, a distinctive stone structure is the former home of Icelandic author Gunnar Gunnarsson (1889-1975). It now serves as a museum commemorating his life’s work as well as a cultural center for the region. Located just outside is an archeological excavation and ruins from Skriduklaustur, an Augustinian monastery founded in the 16th century.

Gunnar was a prolific author. He was celebrated and well received in Iceland, as well as in Europe. His novels include Borgslægten History, Advent and Seven days’ darkness. From a poor peasant background, Gunnar moved to Denmark in 1907 to get an education. He wrote mainly in Danish throughout his career, in order to reach a wider audience. Gunnar moved back to Iceland in 1939 and first settled at Skriduklaustur, where he built the house, which was design German architect Fritz Höger.

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In 1955, he was considered for the Nobel Prize, the year in which it was awarded to his fellow countryman, Halldór Laxness.

During the middle ages Skriduklaustur was a monastery (klaustur being the Icelandic word for monastery). In recent years there has been an archaeological excavation in Skriduklaustur, one that has uncovered facts that show that the monastery served also as a local hospital. Today Skriduklaustur serves as a museum for Gunnar and as a writers retreat. It also houses one of the Visitors centers for Vatnajokull National Park.

Gunnarsstofnun opening hours

June – August: Open daily 10am – 6pm

May & September: Open daily 11am – 5pm

April: Open daily 12pm – 4pm

1.-15 October: Open daily 12pm – 4pm

November – March: Open occasionally.

Where is Gunnarsstofnun?

Gunnarsstofnun is 40 km from Egilsstadir town, in the upper end of Lagarfljot lake, in East Iceland.

GPS: 65.041417 N, -14.953272 W