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GARDAR

Region: West Iceland
Coordinates: 64.34° N 22.02° W

Gardar in Akranes is a former manor and a church site.

Sagas of Iceland

The Book of Settlements refers to Jorundur the Christian, who lived at Jorundarholt, now Gardar. He is said to have been a good Christian his whole life and withdrew and became a hermit in his old age. His father, Ketill Bresason, who arrived in Iceland with his brother Thormodur, settled in Akranes. The Irish people donated a memorial to commemorate the Irish settlements in this part of the country. It was unveiled in 1974, when the Icelanders celebrated the 1100th anniversary of the inhabitancy of the country.

Gardar was a church site and a parsonage from early Christianity and is mentioned in many sources, such as Sturlunga. The last reverend seated 1865-86, was Jon Benediktsson. He built the so-called Gardar house (1876-82), the first concrete house of its kind in the country. Rev. Jon lived in the house until he moved in 1886 and since then the reverends have lived in Akranes. The last occupant of Gardar was Sigmundur Jonsson, who gave up farming in 1936.

The last sod church of Gardar stood there until 1858, when a wooden church was built in its place. It was demolished in 1896, when a new parish church was built in Akranes. A memorial steeple was built on the foundations of the choir to commemorate the practice of Christianity at Gardar. The Lutheran bishop consecrated it in 1958. Rev. Jon M. Gudjonsson, who served the congregation, designed the steeple.

West Iceland Saga Trail

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