The Hekla Center at Leirubakki was opened on 5 May 2007, in a ceremony attended by a large crowd of friends and supporters. The Center is open every day from 10 am- 10 pm.
The Hekla Center houses a contemporary, multimedia exhibition on Mount Hekla, its history, and its influence on human life in Iceland from the time of the island’s settlement until now.
The exhibition emphasizes the influence of the volcano on the inhabited areas close to it, that is, the districts of Landsveit, Holt, and Rangárvellir. The history of these districts is traced and the story of people’s struggles with sandstorms and eruptions told. The Center has an outstanding restaurant and facilities for meetings and conferences.
Artistic events and programs are held at the Center. One such program is the “Hekla Artist of the Year,” in which well-known Icelandic artists portray Hekla from various points of view. Ragna Róbertsdóttir was the Hekla Artist of the Year 2007, and works of hers made from ejecta from Hekla are on permanent display in the Center’s main gallery.
The Hekla Center strongly supports cooperation with scientists, organizing and sponsoring conferences and exhibitions where the latest scientific research and findings can be presented. In addition, the Center has special educational materials for the schoolgroups that visit from all over the country, as well as for other visiting groups of Icelanders or foreigners.
The Hekla Center is a working tourist information center, providing tourists advice about all of the surrounding area, including Mount Hekla, and organizing numerous trips to the mountain from Leirubakki.
The Hekla Center facilities were custom built for its activities and designed by EON Architects. The exhibition was designed by Árni Páll Jóhansson. The exhibition guide was written by Ari Trausti Guðmundsson. Gagarin ehf produced and implemented the exhibition’s digital media presentations.