The secret garden

Many visitors to Reykjavík go to Austurvöllur to see the parliament building:


Few of them are aware of the little gem hidden behind it: the Alþingi garden. It’s a peaceful little garden, with tress, grass and flowers, and some benches where you can go and sit on to relax for a while. Just go around the back to the left and you’ll see it. The first thing you will probably notice, even before you enter the garden, is that the parliament building has a cute little rotunda:


The garden is open to the public, so it’s quite okay to go in.

Once inside, you’ll see a small round lawn, some flower beds, and lots of trees and bushes. The garden dates back to 1894, and is well established and the layout is more or less unchanged from the original. Parliamentarian Tryggvi Gunnarsson oversaw the laying-out and gardening work and after he retired he took over the gardening. He so loved the place that he asked to be buried there, and he is, right under the small monument commemorating him and his work (not pictured – I was unable to take a photo I was happy with publishing). The photo of the rotunda below is taken from in front of the monument:


It’s shady and peaceful, and it’s hard to believe that such an oasis could exist right in the middle of a busy city like Reykjavík.

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