The Perlan (The Pearl) complex, which formally opened to the public on 21 June 1991, stands atop Öskjuhlíð hill and potentially offers one of the best view of Reykjavik and the surrounding countryside and ocean. A modern structure has been built on renovated water storage tanks which once supplied the city. Hollow steel frames support the glass dome and walls that link six aluminium tanks, each of which can contain 4 million litres of water averaging 85°C (185°F). As part of The Pearl’s heating system, hot water is pumped through the metal framework in winter, while cold water flows during summer, thereby producing a comfortable year-round environment.
The Perlan from Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik`s famous church.
These musicians are performing near the entrance to the Perlan.
The Perlan has 10,000 cubic meters of exhibition space on the ground floor known as the Winter Garden which has hosted concerts by various Icelandic artists. There is an expensive (even by Icelandic standards) revolving restaurant on the top floor underneath the dome which takes 2 hours to complete a circuit plus a cafeteria on the fourth floor, on the same level as the open-air viewing deck.
Entry to the Perlan including the viewing deck is free. Öskjuhlíð reaches a height of 61 metres above sea level and during the Second World War the Allies fortified the strategically placed hill with bunkers and artillery positions, many traces of which still remain.
Additional high-resolution images taken from the Perlan`s viewing deck and more information on Reykjavik Airport can be found here.