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Höfði House

Höfði House was built in 1909 in a prime location overlooking Faxaflói Bay towards Mount Esja to the north of Reykjavik and its original purpose was to house the French Consulate. The building material was brought in from Norway and the architecture is influenced by Jugendstil. The house is located in a great spot with some of the most scenic views in the Reykjavík area 


For many years it was home to one of poet and business man Mr. Einar Benediktsson (1864-1940) who has his sculpture in front of the house, put there in 2015. Also, the family of painter Mrs. Louisa Matthíasdóttir owned and resided there from 1925-1937. In the 40´s and 50´s it was the home of the British Embassy and it was during that time when stories of “The White Lady” started becoming more and more frequent. A ghost of a young lady dressed in white occupying the house said to have died either by suicide or drowning. This matter became newsworthy when ambassador John Greenway recommended that the house be sold and the Embassy moved elsewhere due to “things going bump in the night”. Mr. Greenway applied for a special permission from the foreign office and the house was indeed sold to the Government of Iceland and later bought by the City of Reykjavík which has been its owner since 1958. 


Since 1967 it has been used exclusively for official receptions and meetings. The most historical event being the 1986 summit meeting of Ronald Reagan, President of the United States  and Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the USSR. A meeting which is generally considered to be an important step towards disarmament and the end of the Cold War. Hofði House recently made headlines again when Vice President Mike Pence had a meeting there in 2019 and every single office in the streets around flagged the rainbow flag in order to “show Mr. Pence what freedom really looks like”.


Hofði House has in fact played host to a number of well known people such as Winston Churchill, Marlene Dietrich and Queen Elizabeth II. Many have also claimed to have seen The White Lady and it is well known that no member of staff will enter or stay in the house alone. There are also a few accounts of the secret service having problems locating the source of some “sounds” inside the house. Then there others who claim it´s only mice playing on people´s imagination.