Greinasafni: Icelandic Times
Hólar in Hjaltadalur: Nine Centuries in One Hour

One of Iceland‘s most important historical and cultural sites is without a doubt Hólar in Hjaltadalur. From 1106 Hólar was one of two Episcopal sees in Iceland and has been site for learning and education right up to present times. Many of Hólar’s most important remains have been renovated or rebuilt in recent years to give you an insight into the lives of the 36 bishops who served there and the church’s role in Iceland.


The SagaTrail takes you through Hólar’s colourful history in less than an hour by foot. In the tour you’ll visit Iceland’s first printing press, which was set up around 1530 by Catholic Bishop Jón Arason, who was later  beheaded for his refusal to further theprogress of Lutheranism in Iceland. You’ll see the oldest and smallest stone church in Iceland, built in 1763. You’ll visit various excavations sites which once were schoolhouses and residences and where archaeologists are still making new discoveries, including an ancient tunnel which led from a church to a residency. Nýibær is a monument to the unique building techniques of Iceland. To insulate from the cold Icelanders would stack the outer walls with rocks and cover   the roofs with soil and grass. In Nýibær you’ll learn all about how Icelanderskept warm during the harsh winters.


Even though the walk only takes an hour it is worth your while to stay for a longer period of time. On location you‘ll find cosy accommodation options (made up beds, sleeping bag, camping, apartments or summerhouses), a restaurant with some very exciting dishes and a swimming pool.

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