From Iceland — President Hosts Open Day at Bessastaðir

President Hosts Open Day at Bessastaðir

Published June 19, 2023

Photo by
Art Bicnick

The President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson hosted an Open Day at Bessastaðir on June 18. Built in the 18th century, Bessastaðir is the official residence of the President of Iceland. It is located about 15 km from the capital in Álftanes.

The President welcomed guests and invited people to explore the premises between 13:00 and 16:00.

Visitors had a chance to see a collection of gifts received by the presidents, including a polar bear skin rug and a narwhal’s horn gifted by Greenland, and archaeological artifacts in the basement that provided insight into the habitation of Bessastaðir since the settlement era. In addition to Bessastaðir House, guests could check out the reception hall and the presidential library.

The first presidential car, a 1942 Packard that once chauffeured former president Sveinn Björnsson, was also on display in front of the house. The staff of the President’s Office and assistants were available onsite to provide information about the premises and assist guests.

Vísir reported last week that the president found a set of keys while jogging and sought the owner in a local Facebook group. The President wrote: “Good day. Found this keychain this morning on the footpath along the Álftanesvegur road. The keys can be retrieved at Bessastaðir (the presidential residence).”

The message has received a lot of public attention, with many people stating that this is only possible in Iceland. The President included two phone numbers that could be used to contact Bessastaðir. The keys are still known to be kept at the residence.

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