Reykjavik burned the other night. Or at least a part of it did. Anyone whose ever been to this city has walked, or at least driven, past the site of the recent conflagration: the corner of Lækjargata and Austurstræti, or just between the red 3 and the red 10 on this map.
This is the back view of the green timber Cafe Opera/Kebabhús building that sits facing Lækjargata. It was basically gutted, but it looks like the support structure is still intact, which is more than can be said for the white Pravda building that faces Austurstræti. It was totally demolished from the roof down, except for the exterior walls.
It turns out a little belatedly that the Pravda building is one of the oldest in Reykajvik (though only 200 years old) and has a deep history in the city's development. I say belatedly because it's housed one skanky bar/club after another for the past, at least, twenty years. Not many people knew that underneath the beer-stained hardwood and past the deeply saturated smell of cigarettes that a historical gem resided. At least I didn't know.
Everyone's determined to rectify that cultural mistake now, though, by rebuilding it and doing something proper with this slice of city history the next time around.