Þjórsárstofa – the Þjórsá Visitor Centre at Árnes – is a collaborative project of the Skeið and Gnúpverjahreppur local authority and Landsvirkjun.
The objective of the Þjórsá Visitor Centre is to provide information on the land and nature, the people and history of the Þjórsá region, and the services available there, with the principal focus on the great Þjórsá river itself.
The Þjórsá river valley (Þjórsárdalur) is one of the most magnificent regions of south Iceland, with diverse nature and a colourful history, which are now made accessible to visitors through an exhibition, multimedia presentation and other information at the Þjórsá Visitor Centre.
Árnes is a fine community centre serving the local rural area. Built in 1970, it has now been partly rebuilt, in order to provide better facilities for visitors, both from the Þjórsá area itself and others, and to serve the local community. Emphasis is placed on encouraging year-round use of the centre for diverse activities.
The restaurant at the Árnes community centre is now operated under the name Matstofan , with a menu including traditional Icelandic dishes, and a coffee buffet on Sunday afternoons. This summer a farmers‘ market will offer handcrafts, foodstuffs etc.
The Þjórsá Visitor Centre project has been managed by Gunnar Marteinsson, leader of the Skeið and Gnúpverjahreppur local council, and Helgi Bjarnason for Landsvirkjun. The first stage of the centre opened in the spring in 2011, and the latter stage in 2012.
Alterations to the building were carried out by Basalt architects; lighting and electrical design Verkís hf., contractor Ólafur Leifsson, ironwork Sigurður Kárason.
The exhibition is designed by Björn G. Björnsson, and texts are by Ari Trausti Guðmundsson. English translations Anna Yates. Multimedia presentation by Gagarín. Aerial photograph with placenames by Módelsmíði. Exhibits have been loaned by the Árnessýsla Folk Museum. Pictures printed by Merking.
Photographs in the exhibition by Jóhannes Long. Film by Steingrímur Þórðarson and Jón Þór Víglundsson.