chapel belongs to the Kirkjubaejarklaustur benefice in the Skaftafell
deanery. It was consecrated
on the 17th of June 1974 to commemorate the millennium of the
inhabitancy of Iceland. Its
construction was decided in 1965 on the 175 anniversary of Rev. Jon
It was built
just east of the ancient church foundations, which are considered by
many to represent the oldest such in the country.
In 1186 a Benedictine convent was founded at
was abolished in the middle of the 16th century, when the
Icelanders were reformed. Its
ruins are still conspicuous at Kirkjuholar.
Kirkjubaer was a church site until 1859, when the parish church
was moved to Prestbakki.
Jon Steingrimsson lies buried in the old cemetery at Klaustur with a prominent gravestone made of
He was the Rev. of the parish during the earth’s largest
historic eruption. His
documentation of this natural catastrophe and the consequent hardships
is considered the best source available. His powerful sermon in the parish church on July 20th
1783, when the lava flow threatened to overrun the settlement is said to
have stopped it in its tracks. Consequently
it was called the “Sermon of Fire”.