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Hofdi House, Reykjavik

3.5
#7 of 19 in Historic Sites in Reykjavik
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Höfði is a house in northern Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, built in 1909. Höfði is located at Félagstún. Initially, it was built for the French consul Jean-Paul Brillouin in Iceland and was the exclusive residence of poet and businessman Einar Benediktsson (1864-1940) for many years.

It is best known as the location for the 1986 Reykjavík Summit meeting of presidents Ronald Reagan of the United States and Mikhail Gorbachev of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. That effectively was a step to the end of the Cold War. Within the building the flags of the USA and the USSR are cross-hung to commemorate the meeting.

The city of Reykjavík purchased the house in 1958, restored it to its former glory. From that time used it for formal receptions and festive occasions.

On 25th September 2009, on the building's 100th birthday, Höfði was damaged in a fire. All irreplaceable artifacts were saved.

Telecommunications history

The building was used to make the first radio communications between Iceland and the outside world on 26th June 1905, when contact was made with Poldhu in Cornwall, UK.

Local legend

The memoirs of one of the earliest occupants of Höfði state that the house is inhabited by the spirit of a young woman. Accounts vary on who she is but most commonly she is either a suicide or drowning victim. John Greenway, who inhabited the house in 1952, insisted that it be sold and the British consulate moved elsewhere, because of what he called 'bumps in the night'. He even applied for special permission from the Foreign Office to do so. That same year the house was sold back to the Icelandic government.

Popular local legends differ from the accounts of the house's inhabitants; the most popular of which is that the house is a Viking burial site. For this reason locals say the liquor cabinet of the house is frequently raided by spirits.

The legend has even gained recognition by the Foreign Ministry who have officially stated that; "We do not confirm or deny that the Hofdi has a ghost".

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%B6f%C3%B0i
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Hofdi House reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
520 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • The house was closed so we could not get in but the outside and the surrounding are well-maintained and clean and the information about the history of this location was readily available for the... 
    The house was closed so we could not get in but the outside and the surrounding are well-maintained and clean and the information about the history of this location was readily available for the...  more »
  • Historic site you need to know the history to make it a great stop, you can not go in but they have information outside on multiple plaques. Even a piece of the Berlin Wall. 
    Historic site you need to know the history to make it a great stop, you can not go in but they have information outside on multiple plaques. Even a piece of the Berlin Wall.  more »
Google
  • Well presented info ... but we also had a guide. Interesting to think that ColdvWar ended here .... especially with current issues of East v West
  • Nice place. We walked for one our. Great.

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