History Museums South of Iceland

Pompei of the North – Eldheimar

The exhibition focuses on the 1973 volcanic eruption in Vestmannaeyjar. Visitors get a glimpse into people’s lives on Heimaey before the eruption that would change their lives forever. The eruption started in the early hours of January 23 and lasted for 5 months. Eldheimar gives visitors the chance to go back in time and learn about this dramatic event. The highlight of the exhibition is the house on Gerðisbraut 10, which after being buried in ash and lava for over 40 years, has been excavated and shows how cruelly nature treated the homes of so many islanders.

The show also covers the Surtsey eruption, the island that emerged from the ocean south of Heimaey in 1963. The Surtsey eruption lasted for almost 4 years. Access to the island has been restricted to scientists, in order to monitor how new ecosystems develop. Surtsey is listed as a natural wonder on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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