The Culture House was built in 1906 – 1908 to house the National Library and National Archives of Iceland and was opened to the public in 1909. Initially the National Museum and the Icelandic Museum of Natural History were located in the building and the house was soon dubbed the Culture House although that was not the formal name. Since the turn of the century, institutions such as the Árni Magnússon Institution for Icelandic Studies, the National Gallery and the Icelandic Museum of Natural History have used the building for exhibitions. The building, which has now been protected as a historical building, merged with the National Museum of Iceland in 2013.

The Culture House has always been considered one of Iceland's most beautiful buildings and a lot of care was taken in creating the interior as well as the exterior. The building was designed by Danish architect Johannes Magdahl Nielsen and built by Icelandic craftsmen and is certainly a testament to their fine work. Within its walls you'll find the unique reading hall, preserved in its original form. The building's caretaker, Frederick Kiörboe, designed the oak furniture that can still be found there. The building's cornerstone, laid on September 23rd 1906, can be seen under the front steps.

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