"Skálholt - The Cathedral." Skálholt by Regina1965
Skálholt Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 50 photos
Skálholtskirkja is one of Iceland's most historic places and to us Icelanders a holy place. It was the center of ecclesiastic power in Iceland and the first bishopric was founded here in 1056, with the first bishop, Ísleifur, taking seat.
From then on it became the center of learning, culture and worldly power in Iceland. 32 Catholic bishops sat here until the Reformation to Lutheranism in 1540. The Reformation was not done peacefully and the last Catholic bishop, Jón Arason, and his two sons, were beheaded here in 1550. After that 13 Lutheran bishops sat here until 1801 when the seat was moved to Reykjavík.
The first Cathedral was built in the 12th century, altogether there have been 10 churches there, built of wood, and some of them burnt down, others were destroyed by bad weather etc. Some of them were much larger than this present memorial Cathedral, which was built from 1956-1963.
I am directly related to Jón Arason:
Jón Arason (1484 - 7.11.1550) Helga Sigurðardóttir (1485-1559)
Helga Jónsdóttir 1510
Eiríkur Eyjólfsson 1540 - 1600
Eyjólfur Eiríksson 1580 - 1650
Jón Eyjólfsson 1600
Guðmundur "eldri" Jónsson 1637 - 1710
Þórdís Guðmundsdóttir 1690
Sigríður Jónsdóttir 1718 - 1769
Hólmfríður Oddsdóttir 1753 - 1838
Sigurður Þórólfsson 1776 - 1852
Sigurður Sigurðsson 1830 - 1906
Ásmundur Sigurðsson 1868 - 1919
My grandfather 1903 - 1977
My father 1942 - 2008
The Icelandic Government donated Skálholt to the State Church in 1963.
There is a lovely café beside the church, and in winter time there is a public school there.
Skálholt is about 85 kilometres from Reykjavík, situated in Biskupstungur, and is on the Golden Circle tour.
Skálholtskirkja Cathedral as seen from the road. To reach Skálholt from Reykjavík from ring-road 1 turn left before you reach Selfoss on road 35 and right on 31 for Skálholt. It is about 85 km from Reykjavík.
- In a nutshell:One of the most historical sites in Iceland.
I must add a tip on this - as it is breathtaking sitting in the church when the sun shines through the stained glass... more travel advice
There is excavation work in process beside the Cathedral and a lot of interesting old relics have been found there.... more travel advice
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