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Iceland Mag

Culture

Construction permit in town of Hveragerði stipulates elf-knoll must be protected

By Staff

  • Hveragerði A small town on the Ring Road in South Iceland. Hveragerði is known for its intense geothermal activity and numerous greenhouses. Photo/Valli.

The elves who live in a small mound behind one of the houses on Reykjamörk street in the small town of Hveragerði in South Iceland can breathe a sigh of relief: The municipal council has wowed to ensure that the knoll will be preserved and protected as developers plan to build new homes on the site.

A historic greenhouse and the monkey "Bóbó"
The municipal council of Hveragerði has approved plans to build several new homes on a tract of land which housed a large greenhouse and visitor center, Eden. Eden was one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Iceland prior to the onset of the tourism boom. Visitors to the greenhouse could marvel at banana plants and numerous cages with exotic birds.

Read more: Iceland has Europe‘s largest banana plantation: could grow in importance due to Panama Disease

At one point the greenhouse even had a caged monkey, "Bóbó" who was a popular attraction among local children.

Homeowners awarded significant compensation
Hveragerði plans to build several new homes on the block. However, this construction threatens a small grassy knoll, which locals believe is home to elves. The residents of one of the apartment buildings on Reykjamörk street met with the municipal council last month to press their case that the knoll be preserved. On Friday the municipal council pledged it would ensure the mound and surrounding area will be protected.

Read more: Do Icelanders really believe in elves?

The council also agreed to pay the homeowners 2.5 million ISK (24,000 USD/20,000 EUR) in compensation for a part of their yard which will be cut due to the construction, as well as to pay for new hedges and trees to be planted in their yard. 

 

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