Location: North-east Iceland
Directions on Google maps
Dimmuborgir – the Dark Fortress at Mývatn are a true wonder of nature and nowhere else to be seen in the world, i.e on dry land. The Dimmuborgir area consists of a massive, collapsed lava tube formed by a lava lake flowing in from a large eruption in the Þrengslaborgir and Lúdentsborgir crater row to the East, about 2300 years ago. The formation of these extraordinary lava cliffs and pillars is caused by lava ponds, i.e. the hot lava streamed over these ponds trapping the water underneath the lava. Steam issued through vent in the lava pools and formed these pillars, which then remained standing even after the crust around them had gone away.
The whole area is well organized with nice walking paths that lead you through Dimmuborgir. One of the walking paths, which is called Kirkjuhringurinn – the Church route leads to Kirkjan – the Church. It is 2,4 km and takes ca 1 hour and takes you through extraordinary tall lava formations for half an hour until you reach the church. The sign says Kirkja.
In Icelandic folklore, Dimmuborgir is said to connect earth with the infernal regions. In Nordic Christian lore, it is also said that Dimmuborgir is the place where Satan landed when he was cast from the heavens and created the apparent “Helvetes katakomber” which is Norwegian for “The Catacombs of Hell”.
For Game of Thrones fans; Dimmuborgir was used as a location for the background of the Mance Rayders widling camp.