Monday, May 31, 2010

Great Prisons of the World- Skólavörðustígur

Skólavörðustígur, Reykjavík, 2009

"But the people did nothing. The people are children. They are taught that criminals live in Skólavörðustígur and not Austurvöllur. Their faith in this wavers a bit, perhaps, from time to time, but when politicians have sworn often enough and hurrahed for long enough, they begin to believe it again. People don't have the imagination to understand politicians. People are too innocent."

~ Halldór Laxness, The Atom Station

I don't think any of the politicians of the Alþingi in Austurvöllur have ended up here yet, although a few bankers have been incarcerated for their roles in the Icelandic financial crisis of 2008. This may be the most charming jail (in appearance) I've ever seen, located in the middle of the shopping district of Reykjavík. Woe be to any shoplifter caught at Eymundsson's bookstore and then paraded next door to the jail!

By Professor Batty


Blogger Chris Albertson said...

Thank you, that's just how I remember it, except that I also vaguely recall a stonewall with broken glass on top.

BTW did Penninn survive the financial crisis? I spent a lot of time there as a child, it was founded by Baldvin Dungal, my mother's second husband and the only real father I knew. He also started an "uptown" branch called Örkin. I hope all that is still going strong.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

I think the wall is in back, I think they have razor wire now. I don't recall seeing Penninn or Örkin.

Blogger Chris Albertson said...

They are/were office supply stores.

Blogger heida said...

Eymundsson bought up Penninn a few years back, and first it was called Penninn/Eymundsson but remarkably soon changed the name back to Eymundsson. Örkin I had never heard of.

Blogger Chris Albertson said...

Being a sentimental sort, I'm sorry to hear that. Thank you, Heida. If I remember correctly, Örkinn was on Laugarveg, near a bicycle shop called Fálkinn.

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