Ghostly

25 07 2013

Wandering around two abandoned herring factories was a bit erie! One has been completely left to the elements, while the other was the stage for Sigur Rós.

This herring factory at Ingólfsfjörður was in operation for only 10 years before it was abandoned. It was left to the elements and now sits below the fog.

Underneath the fog, this herring factory sits alone. It was opened at Ingólfsfjörður in 1942, but  was in operation for only 10 years before it was abandoned.

The first economic boom began in 1934 when the Norwegians established several herring factories in the area. The production lines set in motion in 1935 when the first boats sailed into the bay with their holds full of herring. Catches were almost unlimited, bringing a high turnover that led to rapid success. When the herring factory at Djúpavík was completed, it was the largest concrete building in Iceland at the time. It still stands today, 90m long on three levels.

When the herring industry was at its height in the mid-1940s, several hundred people lived in this remote outpost, women salting the fish, men turning the remains into animal meal and oil. The factory floor was filled with modern machinery for processing herring to produce fishmeal and oil. The oil was filtered in a series of six separators to extract the water and then stored in large heated tanks outside the factory, with a capacity of 5,600 tons. A production process of this kind had never been used in Iceland at that time.

The factory in Djúpavík went bankrupt in 1955 following a disastrous collapse in fish catches, but the enormous costs involved in demolishing the building – once the largest concrete structure in Europe – means that its hulking hollow shell remains.

The old herring factory at Djúpavík has a permenant exhibit and tours. Now it features the exhibition, STEYPA (‘concrete’), consists of images—accompanied in some cases by text, drawings and sound—from seven photographers from Iceland and abroad.

The old herring factory at Djúpavík has a permanent exhibit and tours. Now it features the exhibition, STEYPA (‘concrete’), consists of images—accompanied in some cases by text, drawings and sound—from seven photographers from Iceland and abroad.

Yep, this is also the home of the concrete oil drum where Sigur Rós (well, Jonsi) and Amiina played GitardjammI for the movie Heima in 2006.

More information at: http://www.djupavik.com/en_herringfactory.php

It is also hightly suggeted to grab a coffee and cake at Hotel Djúpavík.

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