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 the building is an archaeological 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 the German architect Fritz Höger designed.

In 1955, the Nobel Prize Committee considered Gunnar for the Literature award, though they eventually gave it 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 that revealed the monastery served as a local hospital. Today, Skriduklaustur is a muesum about Gunnar, as well as  a writers’ retreat. It also houses the Snaefell Visitor Center for Vatnajokull National Park.

Opening hours

Open daily 11am – 17 (5pm)

Where is Gunnarsstofnun?

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

GPS: 65.041417 N, -14.953272 W