A fundamental part of Icelandic history, turf houses first started appearing on the island in the ninth century when the Vikings landed there.
The layers of turf and partially underground construction provide the house with extra layers of protection in extreme winters. These homes are made of locally gathered and sourced materials on the island, such as, volcanic rock. These living materials created a healthier living space for the inhabitants as they acted as natural filters against pollution.
Although constructing homes from turf can be seen in many countries such as Norway, Scotland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and other parts of northern Europe, Iceland uniquely used this technique to build all sorts of structures that ranged from homes to public buildings. No one lives in them anymore but they are still well preserved as an important part of Iceland's architectural history.
Source: Musee Magazine