The hill Oskjuhlid is an important link in the chain of open and green areas in the capital. This chain starts with the pond Tjornin in the old centre of town, continues over the Oskjuhlid, through the Fossvogur Valley, River Ellidaar Valley and ends in the Heidmork Recreation Area.
This hill reveals an interesting geological epoch of the late Ice Age and a higher sea level 10000 years ago 43 m above the present. Its structure is the so-called Reykjavik grey basalt created by volcanic activity on the nearby moorland Mosfellsheidi. Glaciers carved the landscape afterwards.
Shortly after the middle of the 20th century forestation was started with birches, pines, spruces and aspens. Now at least 135 species of plants grow there, 84 species of birds have been spotted and 10 of them breed. During the resent years rabbits have been spotted in the slopes. They seem to survive the winter near the hot water pipeline and passers by throw them something to eat.
The oldest historic remnants are related to farming and the shrub wood was exploited for fuel and peat as well. Several of the ruins on the hill remind of the Second World War. The abandoned stone quarry reminds of the construction of the harbour (1914-1918) and the quarrying was continued for the construction work of the allied forces in the forties. On the top of the hill, one of the capital’s landmarks, The Pearl, is standing. It was opened in 1991. On that same spot the people of the capital area celebrated the millennium of the country’s inhabitancy in 1874.
The so-called Hot Brook was very popular day and night. The outlet water from the 7 hot water tanks, which were originally built in 1940, created it. They were demolished in 1986-1987, when the new ones were built and the revolving restaurant on top of them. Now the outlet water of the present tanks is used to heat up a seawater pond in the cove Nautholsvik, where some the Second World War barracks are still standing. The British forces built the domestic airport, hangars and the old tower in 1940-41.
Hiking paths attract many people on fine days.
Photo Credit: Visit Reykjavík