Höfði House

The Höfði House is one of the most beautiful buildings in Reykjavík, built in 1909. The house is located on the seafront at Borgartún Downtown Reykjavik and is surround by the business district. The house is one of the most beautiful and striking buildings in the city with a huge green outside the main doors. The house is best known as the location for the 1986 summit meeting of presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbatsjov, that effectively marked the end of the Cold War. During this meeting the house became world known and a Japanese millionaire had an exact replica of the house built in his country. The sculpture in front of the house depicts the high seat pillars of the first Norwegian settler in Reykjavík.

Initially, Höfði was the house of the French consul in Iceland and still bears many signs of its original purpose, such as the letters RF (the abbreviation of the French Republic), the name of the consul and the year of its construction above an inside door.

Among other renowned guests of Höfði House are various heads of states (amongst them the Queen of England), Winston Churchilll and Marlene Dietrich. In addition, the house is believed to be occupied by a ghost, "The White Lady", experienced by a former British Ambassador who once occupied the house (she tried his nerves so much, that he persuaded the British foreign office to sell the house).

It was one of the many wooden catalog houses built in Iceland in the early 20th century, but probably one of the most beautiful ones. The house was among the largest villas of the town and was admired by the people, who saw it. Mr. Brillouin did not fit in and left the country in the beginning of world war I and the house was sold. The buyer was the poet, advocate and entrepreneur Einar Benediktsson. For a period of time the house was occupied by the British Vice Consul and later the British Ambassador to 1951.

Höfði is owned by the the City of Reykjavík and is currently used for official receptions and meetings of the municipality. Höfði House is unfortunately not open to casual visitors, although visitors are welcome to explore the house from the outside. Höfði is located at Borgartún and a visit to the house can be combined with a pleasant stroll along Reykjavík's waterfront.

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