Travel search
Can't find it? Try searching for it :)

Skálholt Church

Situated in the lower part of the Biskupstungur valley between the rivers Hvítá and Brúará, Skálholt is one of Iceland's places of special historical interest. For seven centuries it was the scene of the most dramatic events which shaped the political, spiritual and cultural life in Iceland. Its early history is traced back to the 11th century when religious disputes were at their sharpest in Iceland. Within two centuries of the settlement of Iceland, the first bishopric was founded at Skálholt in 1056 for South Iceland, and soon a second at Hólar in 1109 for North Iceland.

The man who chose Skálholt as the site of the first Episcopal see in Iceland was Ísleifur (1006 - 1080), son of Gissur the White. Skálholt had earlier been his patrimonial estate and his grandfather, Teitur Ketilbjarnarson, was the first settler there. According to an old account, Skálholt was at that time "the largest town in Iceland". Ísleifur's father, who was a wealthy aristocrat and a redoubtable political figure as well, played a decisive role in the Christianization of Iceland and the future status of the church. He built the first church in Iceland at Skálholt around the year 1000.

In the 12th century bishop Klængur Þorsteinsson built a great cathedral at Skálholt. It was a sumptuous edifice made of timber shipped from Norway. For centuries Skálholt was the centre of learning and culture in Iceland, a status which lasted up to the Reformation in 1550.

In 1954, a team of archaeologists, while digging up the foundations of the old cathedral, came upon a sarcophagus which was believed to contain the skeleton of Páll Jónsson, one of the most powerful bishops of Skálholt. His sarcophagus, together with a few relics found at the scene, is now on display in an underground vault beneath the new memorial church built during 1956-1963 on the site of the old cathedral. All churches in Scandinavia contributed financially to its construction.

The last Catholic bishop of Iceland, Jón Arason, was executed at Skálholt in 1550, along with his two sons. He had opposed the Reformation imposed upon Iceland by King Christian III of Denmark. Today, a memorial stands at the site of the execution. Arason's Episcopal robes are on display at the National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavík.

Today, Skálholt is visited for the new cathedral, the tomb of bishops, the museum, and the collection of ancient books in the tower.

Skálholt Church
GPS Points N64° 7' 36.996" W20° 31' 24.144"
Postal code

806

Road number

31

Travel directory for Skálholt Church

The official travel index of Iceland

Others

Laugarás Homestay
Guesthouses
  • Launrétt 1
  • 806 Selfoss
  • 898-8779
Nónsteinn guesthouse
Guesthouses
  • Skólabraut
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 6984342
Birkihof Lodge
Cottages
  • Eyrarbraut 11
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 778-9052, 692-4094
Efra-Sel Home
Cottages
  • Efra-Sel
  • 845 Flúðir
  • 661-5935 , 846-9321
Arngrímslundur
Cottages
  • Skarð
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 8635518
Hestakráin country hotel / Land og hestar
Guesthouses
  • Húsatóftir 2a
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-5616, 895-0066
Eyvík cottage
Cottages
  • Heimaás
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 7707800
Hallkelshoalr
Cottages
  • Hallkelshólar
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 566-7444, 892-7181, 693-4322
Minniborgir Cottages
Cottages
  • Grímsnes
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 3548683, 863-3592
Mosás 4
Cottages
  • Holtabyggð 110
  • 845 Flúðir
  • -
Mosás 2
Cottages
  • Holtabyggð 110
  • 845 Flúðir
  • -
Skyggnir Bed and Breakfast
Guesthouses
  • Skyggnir
  • 846 Flúðir
  • 8439172
Brekkugerði Guesthouse
Bed & Breakfast
  • Laugarás, Bláskógabyggð
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 7797762
Blue View Cabins
Cottages
  • Eiríksbraut 4
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 665-8928, 696-3463
Hamar
Cottages
  • Bæjarholt 2
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 697-7853
Hrosshagi
Farm Holidays
  • Hrosshagi
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8905, 861-1915
Borg Camping ground
Camping
  • Borg, Grímsnesi
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 767-3411
Þóroddsstaðir 4
Cottages
  • Þóroddsstaðir 4
  • 801 Selfoss
Laugarvatn HI Hostel
Hostels
  • Dalbraut 10
  • 840 Laugarvatn
  • 486-1215, 899-5409
Torfastaðakot 15/Sigurhæð
Cottages
  • Torfstaðakot
  • 801 Selfoss
Laugarvatn Camping Ground
Camping
  • Háholt 2c
  • 840 Laugarvatn
  • 615-5848
South Central HI Hostel
Guesthouses
  • Blesastaðir 3
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 663-4666 , 823-3999
Trophy Lodge
Cottages
  • Vörðuás 9
  • 801 Selfoss
Háholt 11
Apartments
  • Háholt 11
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 820-9595
Öldubyggð 13
Cottages
  • Öldubyggð 13
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 660-8211
Heiðarbraut 22
Apartments
  • Heiðarbraut 22
  • 801 Selfoss
Mosás 3 cottages
Cottages
  • Holtabyggð 110
  • 845 Flúðir
  • 868-5751
Kotasaela
Farm Holidays
  • Fellskot lóð 7
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 699-1234
Nordic Lodges Holt
Guesthouses
  • Torfastaðakot 5, í Landi Torfastaða
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 897-3015
Eiriksbraut 2
Apartments
  • Eiríksbraut 2
  • 801 Selfoss
Mosás 1
Cottages
  • Holtabyggð 110
  • 845 Flúðir
  • -
Goðatún Cottages
Guesthouses
  • Biskupstungur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 892-0947
Guesthouse Geldingaholt
Guesthouses
  • Vestra Geldingaholt
  • 801 Selfoss
Flúðir Camping Ground
Camping
  • Hrunamannahreppur
  • 845 Flúðir
  • 486-6535
Knarrarholt
Cottages
  • Knarrarholt
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-6119, 864-6119
Álftröð Gistiheimili
Guesthouses
  • Álftröð
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 566-6246
Gardur Stay Inn
Hostels
  • Hvammsvegur
  • 845 Flúðir
  • 853-3033
Guesthouse Denami
Bed & Breakfast
  • Vestra-Geldingaholt
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 698-7090
Faxi Camping Ground
Camping
  • Biskupstungur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 774-7440
Klettar Tower Iceland
Guesthouses
  • Klettar
  • 801 Selfoss
Golden Circle Apartments
Guesthouses
  • Laugarbraut 1, 3 & 5
  • 840 Laugarvatn
  • 537-8060
The 5 Million Star Hotel
Glamping
  • Hrosshagi
  • 806 Selfoss
  • 773-4444
Austurbyggð 7
Apartments
  • Austurbyggð 7
  • 801 Selfoss
Arvegur 8
Bed & Breakfast
  • Árvegur 8
  • 801 Selfoss
Kerbyggd Luxury Houses in Golden Circle
Cottages
  • Kerbyggð
  • 805 Selfoss
  • 822-5588
The White House
Guesthouses
  • Bjarkarbraut 19
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 660-7866, 660 7866
Dalbær
Farm Holidays
  • Dalbær III
  • 845 Flúðir
  • 7863048, 486-4472
Reykholt Camping ground
Camping
  • Aratunga
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 847-5057
Guesthouse Flúðir
Guesthouses
  • Grund
  • 845 Flúðir
  • 5659196, 896-1286, 896-7394
Solheimar
Guesthouses
  • Sólheimar
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 4226000
Brautarholt Camping Ground
Camping
  • Skeiða- og Gnúpverjahreppur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 663-4666, 823-3999, 486-5518
Laugarás
Cottages
  • Austurbyggð 3
  • 801 Selfoss
  • -
Konungsvegur
Apartments
  • Konungsvegur 1
  • 840 Laugarvatn
Galleri Laugarvatn / café
Exhibitions
  • Háholt 1
  • 840 Laugarvatn
  • 4861016, 486-1017, 847-0805
Þjórsárstofa
Camping
  • Árnes, Skeiða- og Gnúpverjahreppur
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-6115
Við Faxa
Camping
  • Heiði
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 774-7440

Others

Hestakráin country hotel / Land og hestar
Guesthouses
  • Húsatóftir 2a
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-5616, 895-0066
Við Faxa
Camping
  • Heiði
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 774-7440
IceThor.is
Day Tour Provider
  • 766-0123
Minniborgir Cottages
Cottages
  • Grímsnes
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 3548683, 863-3592
Secret Lagoon
Swimming Pools
  • Hvammsvegur
  • 845 Flúðir
  • 8533033, 861-0237
Slakki Mini Zoo
Mini-Zoo & Open farm
  • Laugarás
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 486-8783, 693-0132, 868-7626
Katla Adventure
Day Tours
  • Knarrarholt
  • 801 Selfoss
  • 823-6119

South Iceland

Towns & Villages

The south of Iceland has several towns and villages, each with its own style, charm and points of interest. Selfoss is the largest town and has a variety of shops, services, many restaurants and fast food places. Most towns are close to the main route, making them accessible and enjoyable.

Explore map by categories

Map Höfn Kirkjubæjarklaustur Vík Vestmannaeyjar Hvolsvöllur Flúðir Laugarvatn Reykholt Laugarás Borg Brautarholt Hveragerði Árnes Selfoss Hella Stokkseyri Eyrarbakki Þykkvibær Þórlákshöfn