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Sun Voyager (Solfar)
Sun Voyager (Solfar)

Sun Voyager (Solfar)

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Sæbraut, Reykjavik, Reykjavik, Iceland, 101

The Basics

Solfar was created by Jon Gunnar Arnason, who developed the concept during the late 1980s. It was the winning entry in a competition for an outdoor sculpture to honor the city of Reykjavik’s 200th anniversary. The full-scale version was unveiled in 1990, a year after the artist's death. City walking tours usually include a stop at Solfar. You can also see it from the water on a whale-watching cruise.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Solfar is a must-see for art enthusiasts and culture lovers.

  • There is no charge to see the sculpture.

  • Solfar sits on Reykjavik’s Sculpture and Shore Walk, a popular trail that leads to landmarks, including Harpa Concert Hall and the Partnership sculpture by Pétur Bjarnason.

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How to Get There

Solfar is located on Saebraut road, a few minutes’ walk southeast of Harpa and a 15-minute walk from the center of Reykjavik. Bus routes 1, 3, 6, 11, 12, and 13 all stop at Lækjartorg, a 10-minute walk away.

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When to Get There

You can visit the sculpture any time of day, any day of the week. Seeing it under the midnight sun during the height of summer offers a great opportunity to appreciate the significance of its name. Otherwise, the glow of dawn or dusk creates an attractive backdrop any time of year.

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The Viking Myth

A common misconception of the sculpture is that it represents a Viking ship. This is understandable, because Solfar does resemble a ship and Iceland is, of course, the land of the Sagas. However, the artist’s original intent was to create a “dream boat” honoring the sun, the promise of undiscovered territory, hope, progress, and freedom.

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