Vatnasafn – Library of Water houses an unusual, fascinating collection of water, extracted as ice from 24 glaciers around Iceland. The water is stored transparent and still, in a constellation of floor-to-ceiling glass columns which reflect and refract the light outside, illuminating the interior as it becomes dark. Some are crystal clear, others opaquely murky.

The library, or the museum as some might want to call it, is unlike anything else in Iceland. It was created as a multi–faceted, long-term installation and community center by American artist Roni Horn, in collaboration with Artangel, and was opened in 2007. It’s located in the building where the Stykkisholmur library once was. Sitting atop a hill, the building overlooks Breidafjordur fjord (in fact more like a bay) on one side and the harbor on the other, through beautiful paneled windows.

Inscribed on the floor of the library are adjectives associated with weather in both English and Icelandic. With the world’s glaciers shrinking rapidly, the Library of Water is also a place for reflecting – it may even become an important environmental archive sometime in the future. The museum has several rooms and has been used for intimate music concerts, film screenings, yoga classes and town meetings. There is always a chess board ready in case any chess players drop in – chess is very popular in Iceland.

Opening hours of the museum

May 1st – August 28th: 10 am – 17 (5 pm)

The Norwegian House sells tickets for the Library of Water

Where is the Library of water?

It is located in the small coastal town of Stykkisholmur on Snaefellsnes Peninsula. It stands on one of the best spots in town, a promontory overlooking the Breidafjordur bay.