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Solfar (Sun Voyager) Sculpture
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Reykjavik City Walking Tour
Ranked #7 of 176 things to do in Reykjavik
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Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013

A lovely sculpture, brilliant to capture the always changing light in Reykjavik! Its a little walk out of town from the city hall building but I think worth the effort to visit as you get some stunning pictures.

Visited November 2013
Thank Goonerette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Highland Park, Illinois
Level Contributor
156 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Beautiful unique sculpture”
Reviewed 17 November 2013

An iconic Reykjavic sculpture, worth spending the time to visit it. One of the photo ops you must bring home. Beautifully done.

Visited December 2012
Thank Ross F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trstenik, Croatia
Level Contributor
233 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
“The sea will grant each man new hope”
Reviewed 14 November 2013

I had been recommended to visit Solfar by a friend who had been to Reykjavik so when I found myself in the city, I made a point of seeking it out.

As you approach it along the Sculpture & Shore Walk, at first it looks somewhat insignificant and as if it is made of wood. In a force 7 gale (with even the locals walking backwards to shield themselves from the wind), I thought 'how can something made of wood survive in this environment?'. Then as you get closer, the sculpture starts to stand out from the background, defining its shape and structure. Up close you realise it is polished metal, beautifully constructed.

It stands looking out to sea, appearing as a ship or perhaps with its pointed stern, a mythical beast or dragon. Many people think that it is a representation of a Viking longship but it isn't that, not least because in death a Viking would be cast off in his longship to be cremated as it was burnt. Also, Solfar is all about light and not darkness, life and not death.

Solfar is supposed to represent the vessel that will take us from this life to our next port of call. It stands waiting, poised & ready, for when it is required. The term Sun Voyager is so apposite and echoes the Celtic blessing of 'may the wind be on your back and the sun warm on your face'. You feel as if your journey on the Sun Voyager would be one of comfort & warmth, such a marked contrast to the cold & mountains you see around you.

In the time that I was there, many tourists were coming to photograph it but - interestingly - nobody stood in front of it, only to the side and behind. It was almost as if you cannot stand in front of what is your future, as that has yet to be defined. The placement of the sculpture is so clever in this respect, as Solfar will chart the course and convey you and not the only way around.

The great pity and irony is that its creator, Icelandic sculptor Jón Gunnar Arnason died the year before it was unveiled. You can only speculate at its significance to him, in effect creating the vessel that would convey him to the next life. There is a definite sense of poignancy to its silent presence; it stands like a loyal pet, awaiting the return of its master. Unaware of the passing of time. It reminded me of English sculptor Richard Long, whose work is based around movement and time.

I was here around sunset, although being November the sun was too low in the sky to pick up the metal shapes distinctly. What little sun there was though was enough to hint at the effect, with individual components reflecting the light in an elegant glow, whilst others remained matt. I would imagine that it must be something quite special to see it at sunrise.

Contemporary sculpture can be very difficult to connect with but Solfar is something with which you immediately connect. I spent 20 minutes or so sitting on the stone steps either side of it, taking in its beauty & purpose. It is inspirational in that it communicates there will something waiting for us when our time draws to a close but that time is not yet, so go and enjoy the now. In this respect, it fulfills perfectly one of its original objectives: hope.

A highlight of my trip to Reykjavik and very highly recommended.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Propaganda_Machine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Don't miss this iconic sculpture”
Reviewed 12 November 2013

As we fought across a freezing wind swept carpark and sea front to see a 'sculpture', I had my doubts however, so glad we made the effort (probably not much of one on a nicer day :)).

Stunning. A photographers 'MUST'. There's something more-ish about it that you can take photos from different angles, aspects or artistic because of its stunning back drop and the light changes.

For the price of a short walk you will not be disappointed.

Visited November 2013
Thank Rachel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“even better in the flesh”
Reviewed 10 November 2013

The internet maybe awash with images of this iconic sculpture, but you have to see it for yourself. On the way the harpa perhaps.
With all things photogaphy light is the main ingredient. You could photgraph this all day as the light changes. If you are in Reykjavik, go and see it.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank jason a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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