Petra's Stone and Mineral Collection – Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland - Atlas Obscura

Petra's Stone and Mineral Collection

Stöðvarfjörður, Iceland

One woman's lifelong collection is on display in this unassuming house on an Icelandic fjord. 


In an unassuming house in a small town on an Icelandic fjord lies a remarkable rock collection. This was the private collection of Ljósbjörg Petra María, who began collecting stones at just seven years old. 

She started by collecting rocks she could use to draw with, then expanded to decorative rocks. The collection began in earnest in 1946 when she bought a house and had room to store her rocks.  She collected most of her rocks by exploring the countryside on foot, often trekking through areas that nobody visited; her part of Iceland was very remote and had few roads until 1962. 

Today, Petra María has thousands of rocks, many of which are on display and are available for visitors to see in her backyard and of course, inside the house, much of which is now a museum. The house remains a museum to Petra, the collector and naturalist, and to her collection. 

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August 1, 2016

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