No traveller interested in the country’s history should ignore a trip to Reykholt, a parsonage in Reykholtsdalur valley that has great historical significance to the Icelandic population. On the way from Borgarnes to Reykholt, you’ll pass Deildartunguhver thermal spring, the biggest hot spring in Europe that supplies both Borgarnes and Akranes with hot water. Reykholt is mostly famous for being the former mansion of Snorri Sturluson, a highly respected and influential politician and historian as well as a widely acclaimed author. Born in 1179, Snorri settled in Reykholt in 1206 and lived there until he was assassinated in 1241 for betraying Hákon, the king of Norway. During his years in Reykholt he wrote some of Iceland’s most renowned literature, like Heimskringla, the history of the Kings of Norway, and the Poetic Snorra-Edda. Both Heimskringla and Snorra-Edda have been translated into numerous languages and are still read by children and adults for both the pleasure and education.
The main attraction for visitors is Snorrastofa, a cultural and conference centre dedicated to Snorri and his legacy that also serves as a research centre for medieval studies. Snorrastofa houses a permanent exhibition on Snorri’s life and the history of Reykholt and Borgarfjörður as well as an impressive library.
Outside the building is a small bathing pool, Snorralaug (Snorri’s Pool), preserved since the time Reykholt was the home of Snorri. The pool is geothermally heated and has been listed since 1817.
Since the 10th century there has been a church in Reykholt and today there are two. A wooden church built in 1886 and a new one, constructed between 1988 and 1996.
Car provided by Hertz.
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