View from Austurstræti into Laugavegur. The two streets are today Reykjaviks major shopping streets.
The white building on the left is one of Reykjavík's oldest houses. Built in 1770, it was originally a prison. The prison was indeed used, as theft was a big problem with rising poverty. It was closed in 1816 and renovated in 1820 to house the seat of the Governor of Iceland. From 1904 on, important ministries were housed therein. To this day, the offices of the Icelandic Prime Minister are located here.