Living Under the Winter Ice~

Thank you, Cindy, for this visual journey through these cozy, partly underground houses in Iceland. One of our sons made a car tour all around Iceland and brought home some fascinating photos and later even created a fascinating video. I am sure that my blogging friends would love to see your photos too. That’s why I reblog it with your kind permission.

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 stood 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…

View original post 10 more words


  1. cindy knoke · September 14, 2018

    Thank you Peter, for your thoughtfulness.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ulli · September 15, 2018

      Thanks to you Cindy for this article, I never saw this houses before! And thanks to you, Peter, for sharing!
      All the best to you both, Ulli

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stella, oh, Stella · September 15, 2018

    Great photos, thank you Peter! Have you blogged your son’s photos? I think I have to dig some more … 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pure Glory · September 15, 2018

    Very interesting story and photos.Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. PlantsandBeyond · September 15, 2018

    Appreciate this journey too . Just traveled to Iceland through your post 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. floresphotographic · September 15, 2018

    I love Iceland.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ann Coleman · September 15, 2018

    How interesting! And thanks for the photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Des · September 16, 2018

    I’ve always been curious about underground, or earth-covered houses. I wonder which direction the windows face? I like the skylights in the one picture. Very cozy looking. Interesting post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · September 16, 2018

      I cannot answer the question, Des. You would need to talk to the author of this reblogged post. Have a great day, Des!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. travelsandtomes · September 16, 2018

    Fantastic! I was talking to someone on Friday who had traveled in Iceland and loved it. This is even more incentive to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rabirius · September 17, 2018

    Amazing and interesting.


  10. Sue · September 24, 2018

    Most fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. dunelight · September 24, 2018

    Awesome photo essay, I did not even know these were a thing….these homes of sod. We had them in America during Westward Pioneer times. I’ve seen several small soddies in Nebraska. Sod homes were always the first home on the land, then, if the farmer were successful, they built a wood home.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sarah · September 25, 2018

    So beautiful and cosy these houses! Thanks for sharing this, Peter!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ankur Mithal · October 2, 2018

    Gorgeous. In India, as well, a lot of independent houses nowadays are built with one floor underground. The objective is exactly the opposite. The underground parts stay cool in the harsh heat of the Indian summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Peter Klopp · October 2, 2018

      Underground houses keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is truly a useful concept.


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