The exhibition focuses on the 1973 volcanic eruption in Vestmannaeyjar. The people of Heimaey had to leave their homes in the middle of the night and evacuate the island, many of them never saw their homes or any of their belongings ever again. Lava and ash destroyed almost 400 homes and businesses, a third of all buildings on Heimaey. While the eruption lasted no one knew if the island would ever be populated. Now 40 years later Eldheimar open up, a museum of remembrance, giving visitors the chance to go back in time and learn about this dramatic event. The Eldheimar museum also covers the Surtsey eruption, the island that emerged from the ocean south of Heimaey in 1963.
The Surtsey eruption lasted for almost 4 years and ever since only scientists have been allowed on the island in order to monitor how new ecosystems come to life.Surtsey was inscribed as a natural property on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during the 32nd session of the The World Heritage Committee in July 2008.