Living Under the Winter Ice~


These are beautiful photographs of extraordinary homes in Iceland by Cindy Knoke.

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. The houses are 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…

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16 thoughts on “Living Under the Winter Ice~

  1. The thing that is so surprising to me is how forward thinking this architecture is. Iceland is one of the most climate hostile places in the world that has been, and is, occupied by humans. It has lots of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and avalanches, not even thinking of winds, winter temperatures and hostile seas. And yet these hand-built sod-homes survive the test of time? And they are so pleasant to be in?
    It seems like architectural genius.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cindy has a way with the camera that turns everything she photographs into a work of art! Stunning. I have a particular reverence for these people who’s love of freedom and for the land, fought so hard to survive in this cold harsh environment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It was a dream of mine to get to Iceland (I even took a course in Old Norse/Icelandic language and the sagas as part of my Honours degree), and I finally made it there in 2015. It’s a fascinating place and Cindy’s wonderful photos brought it all back for me. Thanks so much.

    Liked by 1 person

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