Þjórsádalur, Iceland

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One of Iceland's best kept secrets

The Commonwealth farm in Þjórsárdalur (Thorsadalur) is one of Iceland's best kept secrets. The farmhouse, built on the site of one of the manor farms of the Age of Settlement, is constructed as experts thought it would have been.

Visitors have the opportunity of acquainting themselves with the buildings the Icelanders' ancestors lived in and learning about their living conditions and daily lives.

The Commonwealth farm is based on the ruins of the former manor farm, Stöng, in Þjórsárdalur, which is considered to have been abandoned after its destruction in the Hekla eruption of 1104.

To celebrate the 1100-year anniversary of the Settlement of Iceland in 1974, it was decided to reconstruct a manor farm from the Age of Settlement and the well-preserved ruins at Stöng were considered to be very suitable for the purpose. Building work commenced in 1974 and was completed three years later. The building was formally opened on 24th June 1977.

When building the farm, every effort was made to replicate it as exactly as possible, according to the ruins of the farm at Stöng. This gives visitors a very credible picture of an Icelandic chieftain's dwelling from the Age of Settlement and the farm building itself is a kind of museum piece, illustrating ancient handwork. Where this was not possible, imagination took over, as is the case in historical novels.

The Commonwealth farm is a living witness to the fact that the dwellings of the Icelanders of yore were well built and majestic constructions.

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