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Nonnahús and Nonni – the Honorary Citizen of Akureyri the Capital Metropolis of North-Iceland

Nonnahús in Akureyri North-Iceland

Nonnahús museum is my favorite museum in Akureyri and a hidden gem within the capital metropolis of North-Iceland. I’ve such fond reminiscences of visiting this museum once I was a toddler, and I go to Nonnahús museum each time I journey up north to Akureyri 🙂 

Nonnahús was the childhood residence of Jón Sveinsson (1857-1944), who was known as Nonni, however Icelandic males with the title Jón are sometimes known as Nonni or Jonni. Nonnahús is likely one of the oldest homes in Akureyri, inbuilt 1850. It opened as a museum in 1957 on Nonni’s one hundredth anniversary. 

Prime picture: the beautiful Nonnahús home

Nonnahús in Akureyri North-Iceland

Inside Nonnahús home

Nonni was born on the sixteenth of November 1857 in Möðruvellir in Hörgárdálur valley, not removed from Akureyri, and moved to Akureyri along with his household when he was slightly underneath 8 years outdated. Nonni’s father died when Nonni was solely 11 years outdated, and his mom could not increase her 5 youngsters alone.

Then Nonni obtained the chance when he was 12 years outdated to go to a Catholic school in France in 1870 when a French nobleman provided to pay for the research of two Icelandic boys. Nonni turned a Jesuit in 1878 after which he turned a Jesuit priest, the one Icelander to have executed so.

Books in Nonnahús in Akureyri North-Iceland

Nonni’s books have been translated into many languages

Nonni turned a well known author of kids’s books and wrote 12 books about his life. I learn all of his books about his childhood once I was a toddler and most Icelanders of the older era have learn his books. Nonni travelled all around the world and wrote Nonni in America and Nonni in Japan, which I’ve but to learn.

His brother, Ármann, known as Manni, was despatched to affix Nonni in 1873. Sadly, Manni died of consumption there solely 24 years outdated. His brother, Manni, performs an enormous position in his books as properly. One of many books known as Nonni and Manni and a TV collection on Nonni and Manni was made in 1988. 

Nonni wrote his books in German from 1913-1944 and his books have been translated into 40 languages. On the Nonnahús museum, you will note his books in numerous languages on show. It’s so superior that totally different nations on this planet love his books as a lot as we Icelanders do 🙂

Nonnahús in Akureyri North-Iceland

The kitchen in Nonnahús

At all times an Icelander at coronary heart Nonni solely managed to return to Iceland on 2 events till he died in Cologne in 1944. His first go to was in 1894 when he traversed Iceland on horseback. He wrote a guide about his Iceland go to; A Journey Throughout  Iceland, which is a stunning learn.

He was then invited to Iceland in 1930 on the event of the a thousandth anniversary of the Commonwealth held at Þingvellir, however the Vikings established a parliament in 930 at Þingvellir. Throughout his Iceland go to in 1930 Nonni was made an Honorary Citizen of Akureyri, a well-deserved title.

A German woman, Friederike, takes care of Nonni’s grave in Cologne. She additionally has a web site the Nonni Fanclub in Germany, devoted to Nonni and his work. I correspond along with her every now and then and maintain her within the highest respect for protecting the reminiscence of our beloved Nonni alive. 

Nonnahús in Akureyri North-Iceland

Inside Nonnahús

The museum is so beautiful as it’s like you may have come to go to Nonni in his residence because the rooms are preserved as they have been when he lived there.

Within the backyard by Nonnahús, you’ll see outdated Icelandic toys, which consisted of sheep bones and horns and sticks and stones. Nonni and his brother Manni would have performed with such toys. Instances have modified, eh?

The Zontaclub ran the Nonnahús museum for 50 years – or from 1957-2007. Anna S. Snorradóttir was one of many founders of the primary Zontaclub. She needed to make a museum at Nonnahús, which had grow to be very run down. 

In the garden of Nonnahús in Akureyri North-Iceland

Outdated youngsters’s toys within the backyard by Nonnahús home

She went to the homeowners of the home and informed them about her plans, that she needed to purchase the home and switch it right into a museum, however that she had obtained no cash. The homeowners of the home donated their home to the Zontaclub, how beneficiant is that 🙂 

The Statue of NonniThe Nonni statue by Nonnahús in Akureyri North-Iceland

Minjakirkjan in Akureyri and the Nonni Statue

There’s a large statue of Nonni, 2.5 meters excessive, in entrance of Nonnahús museum. The statue was made by one among our feminine sculptors, Nína Sæmundsson, in 1957. The statue was situated for some time within the outdated Borgarbókasafn, Metropolis Library in Reykjavík. Then it simply disappeared.

Girls from the Zontaclub of Akureyri heard of the statue and began searching for it. One of many Zontaclub’s objectives is to protect the reminiscence of Nonni, the Honorary Citizen of Akureyri.

The Nonni statue by Nonnahús in Akureyri North-Iceland

The Nonni statue up shut

After the statue was moved from the Metropolis Library in ca 1982 no person knew the place it was. The ladies within the Zontaclub tried in useless to search out the statue. They selected asking the nation for assist. From 1970-1980 a variety of newspaper articles have been printed and at last after so a few years the statue was discovered hidden away in a hay-loft.

The statue was discovered within the hay-loft of Korpúlsstaðir simply quarter-hour away from the place I used to reside in Reykjavík. It was present in a field with the marking “head up” – and it was completely intact.

The Nonni statue by Nonnahús in Akureyri North-Iceland

On one among my annual visits to Nonni 🙂

The Zontagroup obtained the Nonni statue as a gift and selected casting it in bronze. The statue was despatched to Germany and inaugurated in 1994 the place it obtained a spot in entrance of Nonnahús museum. 

I simply love this statue and have my image taken with it each time I go to Akureyri, so by now I’ve fairly a group of Nonni photographs; the one I’ve added of me and Nonni is from 2018 🙂

Nonnasteinn – the Nonni rockNonnasteinn in Akureyri N-Iceland

The Nonni path and knowledge signal on Nonni

Nonnasteinn rock is called after Jón Sveinsson, or Nonni as he was known as. It’s a large rock on Höfði above Nonnahús museum. The data sign up my picture above reveals the start of the trail to Nonnasteinn rock from under.

When Nonni was 11 years outdated, he was invited by a French rely to go to France to check at a Catholic school. Nonni needed to check and to see the world, however alternatively, he did not need to half along with his mom and siblings.

Regína by Nonnasteinn rock in Akureyri N-Iceland

By Nonnasteinn rock

In his guide Nonni, he describes his feelings when he needed to make this large resolution. He stood on the slope above his residence and whereas looking on the sea he noticed a sailboat. “I couldn’t cease enthusiastic about this little sailboat. I sat on a rock, which stood out from the aromatic grass and let my emotions and ideas free. In my troubles and agony of my soul, I sighed and gasped out: “Oh, expensive God! What ought to I do?“”

Nonni then went to Germany and afterward, he turned a Jesuit priest and have become often known as Pater Jón Sveinsson.

The information sign about Nonni in Akureyri

The data signal on Nonni

You may see a stunning drawing of Nonni sitting on this rock wanting on the sea. The data signal above is to be discovered subsequent to the cemetery, the place the trail to Nonnisteinn rock from above begins. 

Möðruvellir – Nonni’s birthplaceMöðruvallakirkja church in Hörgárdalur in N-Iceland

Möðruvallakirkja church in Hörgárdalur

Nonni was born in 1857 at Möðruvellir in Hörgárdalur valley, between the cities Dalvík and Akureyri in Eyjafjörður fjord

Möðruvellir is a historic place. There was once an Augustinian monastery at Möðruvellir from 1296 till the Reformation in 1550. One of the crucial noteworthy libraries in Iceland was as soon as situated at Möðruvellir. And a few of the biggest chieftains within the North of Iceland lived right here at Möðruvellir within the Icelandic Saga interval.

Inside Möðruvallakirkja church in Hörgárdalur

Inside Möðruvallakirkja church in Hörgárdalur

The church at Möðruvellir was as soon as the biggest church in Iceland. I really like the blue ceiling of Möðruvallakirkja church. It’s got some 2,000 stars made from plaster. When you get the chance to go to this space do not miss visiting this church.

One other church with the identical title, Möðruvallakirkja, is in Eyjafjörður, see my travel-blog Eyjafjörður Fjord in North-Iceland – Historic Church buildings

Nonni’s household moved to Akureyri city in 1865 when Nonni was slightly underneath 8 years outdated. Nonni’s father died solely 4 years later of hydatid illness.Regína By the Nonni memorial grove at Möðruvellir

By the Nonni memorial grove at Möðruvellir

There’s a memorial grove at Möðruvellir in honour of Nonni. In it, you will discover a large rock with Nonni’s title on it and knowledge in 4 languages on Nonni.

Nonni’s preferrred was to: “Give pleasure to others and strengthen their religion in all which is gorgeous and good on this world” – it would not get higher than that. You may hearken to a report on Nonni in German on Radio Vadikan.

When you ever go to Eyjafjörður and its capital metropolis, Akureyri, then do search for Nonnahús museum. It’s so value it. It’s sort of hidden from view, so one has to actually search for it. There’s a beautiful small outdated church by the museum and you’ll discover the big statue of Nonni by the road.

To go to North-Iceland you can lease a automotive in Reykjavík and drive as much as Akureyri in sooner or later – it’s round 388 km.

I’ve written a few different travel-blogs about beautiful Akureyri:

Eyjafjörður – Akureyri, the Capital Metropolis of Eyjafjörður

Splendidly Vibrant Fairytale Figures in Akureyri in North-Iceland

Humpback Whales in Abundance on a Whale Watching Tour from Akureyri in North-Iceland

Have a stunning time visiting Akureyri and Nonnahús Museum 🙂



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