Skip to content

Njáls saga

Southern Iceland is not the setting for many of the Icelandic sagas but one of the most famous, and certainly the longest, does take place in Southern Iceland and many places in the region are named in it. This is Njáls saga, “the Story of Burnt Njáll,” named after the chieftain Njáll Þorgeirsson from Bergþórshvoll in the Landeyjar district. The saga takes place from 950 to 1020 and is a tale of love, fate, fighting and vengeance. The story has a rich cast of protagonists and the character depictions are considered highly perceptive.

The Saga Centre

The Saga Centre in Hvolsvöllur is chiefly devoted to Njáls saga, which is understandable given that the surrounding area is the main setting for this most famous Icelandic saga. Visitors to the Saga Centre can view exhibitions on Njáls saga, Gallerý Orm, a local heritage museum and the latest addition to the centre, a 90-metre long tapestry depicting scenes from Njáls saga.

Other sagas

The Saga of the People of Flói begins in Norway and continues among settlers in the Flói district, particularly Stokkseyri and Gaulverjabær. It is best known for its vivid description of the voyage by the main character, Þorsteinn Örrabeinsstjúpur, to Greenland. The Saga of Gunnar, the Fool of Keldugnúp is named after Keldunúpur in the Síða district of Southern Iceland and part of the saga takes place there. Some of the action in the Saga of Hörður and the People of Hólm takes place at Grafningur near Þingvallavatn. Although the Saga of Grettir the Strong mostly takes place in Northern and Western Iceland, Southern Iceland does feature in this popular tale. Grettir spent several years hiding in the valley of Þórisdalur between the two ice caps Þórisjökull and Langjökull.