Living Under the Winter Ice~


Laufas is an old turf house in Northern Iceland. There are many of these partially underground historical sod houses in Iceland. The house was built between 1866-1870 and is very large and multi-level, with one floor completely underground. In this photo you can see the sod brick construction which has withstood the test of time and Iceland’s formidable winters.

Laufas house facades are made of wood which is quite scarce in Iceland.

There are underground passages,

and underground rooms.

These houses are snug,

but quite spacious,

and not at all claustrophobic inside.

20-30 people lived in Laufas House.

The houses give one a sense of communal underground living,

that was heat efficient during Iceland’s unforgiving winters.

Laufas House was a wealthy priest’s house, and some rooms are more polished and finished than others.

This was a working farm, on a gorgeous site, with a church that was originally built in 1698.

Cheers to you from Iceland’s fascinating turf houses~

323 thoughts on “Living Under the Winter Ice~

  1. In the American West, those choosing to settle on the Great Plains, many of their first homes (and most of the time, their forever home) were sod homes. That’s how the term, “sodbuster”, came about. Similarly, there wasn’t much wood on the prairies. Furniture that wasn’t being used would be repurposed for structural uses like a door or window door (substitute for a glass window), or firewood of last resort. We do have it easier with modern home construction versus a turf or sod home. πŸ™‚

  2. This looks so fascinating! Adds up one more reason to the list of ‘Why visit Iceland!”. Do you have any idea if these places are open to tourist accommodation or something? πŸ™‚

  3. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    I am catching up on posts that I missed while I was away and nothing gives me more pleasure than discovering the images captured by my favourite photographers. One of which is Cindy Knoke who travels the world with her camera. Iceland has an inhospitable landscape and climate for much of the year, but as Cindy demonstrates, there is a warm welcome underground. #recommended

  4. What an extraordinary style of living, from so many anglesβ€” architecture , structure, society, style… thanks for the tour. I am thinking what it would be like to have lived this way in that era.

  5. So amazing Cindy! Cool that they’ve been preserved and available or people to explore them. Thanks for taking us along… You are an intrepid traveler Cindy!! I’m wondering how many countries you’ve been to?! hugs!

  6. Pingback: Blogbummel September 2018 – buchpost

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