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Slide 1 About

The zoo

The decision to build the zoo in Laugardalur Valley was taken by the Reykjavík City Council on 22 April, 1986. The goal with its establishment was to educate the general public on Icelandic farm animals, give them a closer look at Icelandic farming practices, and strengthen the bond between people and animals. Construction of the zoo began in 1989.

Within one year, six structures for animal keeping were built, a seal pond was dug, areas for foxes, minks and reindeer formed and a goat enclosure set up. In addition to that, the workshop Hafrafell, which painter Örlygur Sigurson owned, was converted into an office and lecture hall. Plans were put in place to keep more than 20 species while letting the animals that live in Iceland have the spotlight, including farm animals and those found in the wild. There are few animals of each type.

Efforts are made to display their variatiations, colors, both sexes and their offspring. The zoo was opened by then mayor Davíð Oddson on 19 May, 1990.

Slide 2 About

The park

It was immediately apparent that guests really appreciated this addition to the city's cultural activities. Based on the positive reception, the city authorities decided to develop an area of land next to the zoo where there could be multiple services and facilities to spend one's free time. This area was given the name The Park.

The mayor at the time, Markús Örn Antonsson, broke the first ground for The Park project on 24 August, 1991. After construction began on The Park, a decision was made to combine it with The Zoo and operate them as one unit. Landwise, the two sections are connected by the bridge Bifröst.

A little less than two years after the first ground was broken on the project, on 24 June, 1993, the area was formally opened by the mayor, and The Park and Zoo, now as a combined singular entity, began to operate.

Slide 3 About

Educational programming work

The concepts that were chosen as the foundation for the development of the area were seeing, learning, doing and being which are connected to key terms such as family, adventure and stories, games and environmentally friendly progress. The people behind the conceptualization and design of the area sought out references from Icelanders' cultural history.

Accordingly, there are various motifs in the combined park and zoo's two sections relating to Norse mythology and the country's Viking Age. Examples of this usage of motifs include a viking ship, öndvegissúlur [high-seat pillars] and a replica þinghóll [parliamentary mound] made to look like that ancient structure, in addition to the naming conventions utilized.

Many of the historical blueprints that were on the table still haven't been realized. Educational programming was initially the cornerstone of the zoo's business. It still has that role today, with about 10,000 student participants hosted per year.

Slide 4 About

Much has changed since the park and zoo first opened. Exotic animals from all over the world have been added to the original Zoos fauna. Those exotic animals include some reptiles, amphibians and insects. The park's rides are of all kinds, from being small and simple at beginning to big and exciting rides. It is clear that Reykjavík Park and Zoo is a popular destination for families, friends, tourists and students. In the future the plan is to increase visitors' possibilities in recreation and knowledge so everybody can find something interesting and informative in every visit.

Housing has been poor over the years and indoor facilities for education and exhibitions are minimal or non-existent. But there are some changes on the horizon, as a new educational and science house will be built and shared with a leisure center for children in Laugardalur in near future.



Logi Sigurfinnsson

Úlfhildur Flosadóttir

accounting and invoices

Þorkell Máni Þorkelsson

technical issues

Construction and maintenance

Valdimar Guðlaugsson

Erlendur Einarsson

Ísleifur Friðriksson

Oddur Friðriksson

Animal keeping and -service

Þorkell Heiðarsson

Ásta Jórunn Smáradóttir

Guðrún Pálína Jónsdóttir

Helgi Valur Helgason

Hjörtur Snær Gíslason

Jón Gíslason

Lilja Björk Vilhelmsdóttir

Veigar Friðgeirsson

Education, events and experience

Sigrún Thorlacius

Guðrún Pálína Jónsdóttir


Ingi Thor Jónsson

events and marketing

Unnur Sigurþórsdóttir

education and presentation

Ticket office

Dagný Hrund Valgeirsdóttir

Coffee house

Dagmar Valsdóttir

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