Permanent Exhibition
  • The Valþjófsstaður door, a church door in the Romanesque style dating from about 1200 AD

The Making of a Nation

Heritage and History in Iceland

The National Museum of Iceland’s permanent exhibition, Making of a Nation - Heritage and History in Iceland, is intended to provide insight into the history of the Icelandic nation from the Settlement to the present day.

The aim is to cast light on the Icelanders’ past by placing the cultural heritage preserved by the National Museum in a historical context, guided by the question: What makes a nation?

The exhibition includes about 2,000 objects, dating from the Settlement Age to the present, as well as about 1,000 photographs from the 20th century.

The exhibition is conceived as a journey through time: it begins with the ship in which medieval settlers crossed the ocean to their new home, it ends in a modern airport, the Icelanders’ gateway to the world.