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Old Primary School

The old primary school in Eyrarbakki has a remarkable history.  The nation's oldest primary school  was housed there for almost 40 years. When the number of students increased and the housing had become too small for the school, bought  Gunnar Jónsson  carpenter it.


Gunnar enlarged the house to make it both a carpentry workshop for himself and his family's residential building. He cast a new high plinth under it, but before that the house had stood on a loaded plinth and then moved it closer to the street Búðarstígur 12.  Gunnar also built a hill on top of the main floor and made two stairwells.


After his time bought  Jóhann Jóhannsson  shipowner at Eyrarbakki Gunnarshús, but then sold it to a young artist from 1980,  Bergljóta  Kjartansdóttir . Bergljót has mostly worked outside Iceland, but Eyrabakki has been her home and center in Iceland. She now lives in Edinburgh.


Although Bergljót lived in Gamla Barnaskólinn for a while, she always had the dream of making this historic house a center of culture, nature and education, in the spirit that Eyrarbakki was in its heyday.

Bergljót rented out the Primary School for the operation of the café Lefolie, where her works were on display and later for the operation of the well-known restaurant "Rauða Húsið" which was named after the color of the house.  There showed  Bergljót also does his work.

Now the restaurant  Rauða Húsið operates in another house, a historic house in the village, four houses from Gamla Barnaskólinn.

The stone house that now houses the Red House was built by Guðmundur Nilsen as a trading company during the heyday of Eyrarbakki. Guðmundur was from "Húsinn" which is now the Byggðasafn Árnesingar and Ásta Kristrún's niece in Bakkastofa.


Bakkastofa will operate educational weekends for people of all ages in learning skills in Bergljót, Bakkstofa Gamla Barnaskólinn will provide educational and cultural activities in the spring. She  now intends to sell the house, preferably to parties interested in maintaining a historic heritage that visitors and pedestrians can enjoy. Ásta Kristrún is Bergljótur's contact person for those who are interested and want to get to know Gunnarshús as an interesting property.


Those who enter the Old Primary School experience both the warmth and good energy of the past and the setting is therefore ideal for constructive moments, coziness and education.



Old Primary School  photo from Christmas 2014.

The house has been named Gunnarshús - Gistihúsið - Gamli barnaskólinn - Lefolii - Rauða húsið - Búðarstígur 12

Gunnar Jónsson carpenter and Ingibjörg Guðmundsdóttir who lived the longest in the Old Primary School which was called at that time  Gunnarshús.

Ásta Kristrún with a picture of her aunt Guðmundur Nielsen who built the shopping center in 1916, which now houses the good restaurant Rauða húsið.

The use and loan at Gunnarshús is related to Bergljótur's vision of mobilizing the house for a good cause.  In addition to Gamla Barnaskólinn, Bakkastofa Búðarhamar uses courses and cultural programs.  Whether guests come to enjoy education or cultural programs, these two houses will evoke positive emotions and fruitful experiences.


The historic village of Eyrarbakki is truly  ideal for raising people's awareness of the value of Icelandic cultural and educational history. 
The experiences in these situations are meant to ignite the participants' senses and break up people's daily patterns in  the modern environment where the stimuli and environment often leave little room for self-examination and reflection.

Finally, it is interesting to note that my great-grandfather  Axels Hjartarson, project manager of Nemanet learning software, was the same Gunnar who turned Gamla Barnaskólinn into Gunnarshús. Nemanet is the methodological foundation on which the weekend courses in learning skills are based.

Guðmundur Nielsen's shopping center newly built
and above in the current red costume.

bakkastofa - eyrargata 32, 820 Eyrarbakki / / tel. 821 2428 - 561 2429

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