Safnahúsið was constructed in 1906–08 to a design by the Danish architect Johannes Magdahl Nielsen, to house the National Library (now combined with the library of the University of Iceland to form the National and University Library of Iceland) and the National Archives. The façade is decorated with crests bearing the names of literary figures. It was originally to be built of dolerite, like the parliament house, and to have a copper roof, but this was judged to be too expensive so the building was instead constructed of concrete with an iron roof. It was at the time one of the largest and finest buildings in the country. More
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