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Gufunes

Region: Reykjavik Area
Coordinates: 64.1449701° N 21.8122486° W

Nowadays the point Gufunes is a part of the most populous quarter of Reykjavik, Grafarvogur. It is situated to the southwest and south of the Eidsvik Cove and Geldinganes Headland and north of Cove Grafarvogur. One issue of the Book of Settlements explains the name of the point by the one winter stay of Ketill gufa Orlygsson, and another by the stay of Gufa Ketilsson. One of the hypotheses refers to the evaporation of the mud flats of Cove Grafarvogur by low tide and sunshine. Gufunes was most probably private property, and around 1150 sources mention a church there, dedicated to The Holy Mother of God.

The farm’s houses, church and cemetery were located on a mound to the west of the present office building of the artificial fertilizer factory. Around 1217 a dispute over the inheritance of Jorunn the rich in which Snorri Sturluson became involved. According to the topographical name Akurinn (The Field), south of the sea cliffs Fjosaklettar, grain was harvested there in the past. The property probably incorporated a share of the fishing rights in River Ellidaar in 1235. In 1313 the monastery on the Videy Island became the proprietor of Gufunes according to sources (1395). Gufunes became the property of the Danish king after the reformation in 1548.

Shortly after (1752) Magistrate Skuli Magnusson moved to the Island Videy, he moved the hospital or retirement home from the island to Gufunes, where it stayed until it was abolished in 1795. Shortly after the turn of the 18th century the property was sold and poet and justice Bjarni Thorarensen lived there 1816-33. The church was abolished in 1886 and the earthly remains of the people buried in the cemetery were moved to a new one a little further to the south when the construction work of the fertilizer factory commenced in 1978.

After the church was abolished it came into the possession of an altar from farm Ulfarsfell. It was used as a cupboard at farm Mosfell for a long time until farmer Halfdan Helgason donated it to the church at Mosfell, where it was at wedding ceremonies. Eventually it came into the possession of The Rehabilitation Centre Reykjalundur, where it was restored and used at services. The Municipal Treasury of Reykjavik bought the farms Gufunes, Knutskot and Geldinganes in 1924 and the National Telephone and Telegraph Company constructed a communications centre there in 1935 for international communications.

SOUTHWEST ICELAND SAGA TRAILS

Photo Credit: Roman Z

WHAT TO SEE?
Nearby Gufunes