Reykholt, west Iceland
GPS POINTS N64° 39′ 53.661″ W21° 17′ 32.068″
Reykholt, west Iceland
Location: West Iceland
Directions from Reykjavík to Reykholt on Google maps.
Reykholt is a fascinating place to visit in Iceland. It was the home of several bishops and an important cultural center site over the years. Today, it is open to visitors, and there are plenty of things to see and do there.
First, a little bit of history. Reykholt was first settled by Icelandic chieftains in the ninth century. It later became the home of several bishops, including Bishop Jon Arason, who was Iceland’s last Catholic bishop. Arason built a large mansion at Reykholt, which became known as the Bishops’ Mansion.
The Bishops’ Mansion was not only a home for the bishops, but also a center of learning. It had a library with over 200 manuscripts, many of which were written by Arason himself. The mansion also had a school and a hospital.
In 1550, the Lutheran Reformation reached Iceland and Arason’s nephew, Bishop Gudmundur Arason, became the first Lutheran bishop of Iceland. Reykholt continued to be an important center of learning under Gudmundur’s leadership.
In 1703, a major earthquake destroyed much of Reykholt. The Bishops’ Mansion was badly damaged and was never rebuilt. Today, only the foundation stones of the mansion remain.
Despite the damage caused by the earthquake, Reykholt remained an important site for many years. In 1874, a hot springs was discovered in Reykholt and a spa was built there. The spa was very popular and attracted visitors from all over Iceland.
Reykholt also became a center for agriculture. A cooperative was founded there in 1884 and it operated until the mid-twentieth century. Today, Reykholt is home to a museum that tells the story of its rich history.
If you’re interested in visiting Reykholt, here’s what you need to know. Reykholt is located in the Borgarfjörður district of Iceland, about an hour’s drive from Reykjavík. The best time to visit is during the summer months, when the weather is mild and there are plenty of things to do.
When you arrive in Reykholt, be sure to stop by the Reykholt Visitor Centre. The centre has exhibits on the history of Reykholt and its importance in Icelandic culture. It also has a cafe and a shop where you can buy souvenirs.
The Reykholt Visitor Centre is open daily from June to August. From September to May, it is open on weekends only. Admission to the centre is free.
There are also several hiking trails in Reykholt, which are perfect for exploring the area’s natural beauty. The most popular trail is the Reykholt-Búðir hike, which takes you to the site of the Bishops’ Mansion. The hike is about four kilometres long and takes about two hours to complete.