When visiting Snæfellsnes, a stop in Grundarfjörður is definitely a must-do. Besides several natural sightseeing highlights, the town also offers some interesting pieces of art to explore. In this article, we describe the most interesting outdoor artwork in Grundarfjörður. 

Sólrún Halldórsdóttir - 112 Words for Wind

In Icelandic you can find over 130 words for wind. The artist, Sólrún Halldórsdóttir, has chosen 112 words out of those 130 to include in this environmental sculpture. By choosing 112 words she is referring to the emergency number in Iceland, 112.

Livelihood and survival of many Icelanders, especially of commercial fishermen, to this day depends on the weather, and hardly a day goes by without the weather forecast being addressed and discussed. The words are placed in escalating order, from the calmest to the strongest wind we have ever heard of. The artist uses the same color code as the Bureau of Meteorology, but shades have been added to represent each word. To decide the order of the words she interviewed elderly people around Iceland and asked about their feeling and understanding of each word.

Sólrún Halldórsdóttir (1964) was born and raised in Grundarfjörður, the second youngest of eight siblings. Her parents are Halldór Finnsson (1924) and Pálina Gísladóttir (1929). Her mother owned a bookstore in Grundarfjörður and taught Sólrún, at an early age, the love for the language.

The sculpture (2021) is 18 meters long and 60 centimeters wide, made of stone, steel and hardwood. 

On Friday 4th of June, around the Icelandic Seamen Day in 2021, the sculpture was unveiled by mrs. Eliza Reid and young Elisa Gunnarsdóttir, a 2 year old niece of the artist.  

Lúðvík Karlsson - the Folk Artist Liston 

Lúðvík Karlsson, with the nickname Liston (‘List’ means art in Icelandic), is a local folk artist. About 25 of his interesting stone sculptures are on display all over town. He also has a workshop and gallery in Sólvellir 6. At the workshop, you can have a look at his artwork, watch him work and eventually find a very unique and special souvenir. Admission to the workshop is free.  


Statue “Sýn" by Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir 

The statue “Sýn" stands next to the church in Grundarfjörður. It is a tribute to the life and work of fishermen and was created by Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir. She is a famous Icelandic artist who has exhibited widely in Europe, Japan, USA and Australia.  

The key element of this sculpture is a sailor woman looking out at sea. She stands on a high basalt column, a rock that characterizes Snæfellsnes. The shape of Kirkjufell is the second key element. It is made out of steel and represents the sea. 


Here are also a few photos from the creation and installation. On the Icelandic Seamen Day in 1989, the sculpture was unveiled by the then President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. 


Paimpol Cross 

In 2006, a monument to commemorate the French sailors who drowned in Icelandic waters was erected at Grundarkampur, the ancient Grundarfjörður trade site. The stone cross was set up at the old location of the church that French sailors set up in the 19th century. It was a gift from the French town Paimpol, Grundarfjörður’s twin town.


Unnsteinn Guðmundsson - The Orca Sculpture

In 2016, a life-sized model of an orca was erected in the center of Grundarfjörður in Paimpol Park. This piece of art by Unnsteinn Guðmundsson is modeled after a special male orca named “Thunderstorm” that often visits the Snæfellsnes peninsula with his family. Snæfellsnes is the only area in Iceland where orcas are seen regularly and this sculpture shall raise awareness of these fascinating animals.  


Nina Zurier – Umkringja 

In 2019, five photographs from Nina Zurier were installed on the exterior of an old fish factory next to the harbour in Grundarfjörður. This installation was part of the art exhibition Nr. 3 - Umhverfing that included a variety of different exhibits all around the Snæfellsnes peninsula. 

Bæringsstofa - Photoshow, Daily Life in Town in the Old Days 

Bæringsstofa is no outdoor art but still an interesting place to visit in Grundarfjörður. 
It is a small movie theater in the Saga Center (Grundargata 35), named after the photographer from Grundarfjörður, Bæring Cecilsson (1923-2002). 

An interesting slideshow of his pictures about life in Grundarfjörður through the ages is presented in the cinema. Photographs by Bæring span the time from the formation of the town Grafarnes (which was later renamed Grundarfjörður) shortly after 1938 to 2000.