The Sagnheimar museum gives a good insight into the unique history of Vestmannaeyjar: fishing, pirate invasion in 1627, volcanic eruption of Heimaey, Þjóðhátíð festival, travels of icelandic mormons to Utah and many more. Skansinn was originally a fortification built for defence against foreign traders and was manned by armed guards after the island was raided by pirates in 1627.
At Skansinn is a stave (wooden) church, a modern replica of the first church built in Vestmannaeyjar around 1000 AD. The church was built in 2000 to mark the millennium of Christianity in Iceland and is a gift from the Norwegian government. Landlyst, one of the oldest house in Vestmannaeyjar (from 1848), is located at Skansinn and is now a medical museum.