Hvolsvollur |<-Hlidarendi Farm ->
Hlidarendi is a farm and a church site in the Fljotshlid County. Catholic churches there were dedicated to St. Thorlakur the bishop at Skalholt (1133-1193). The church was abolished and the parish united with the Teigur Parish in 1802. In 1896 the churches at Teigur and Eyvindarmuli were abolished and the parishes united with a church at Hlidarendi. The present wooden church was built in 1897. It is protected with corrugated iron and seats 180 people. (See The Churches of Iceland).
The settler of the Fljotshlid Area was Baugur Raudsson. He lived at Hlidarendi. His grandson was Gunnar Hamundarson, the most important personality of the Njal’s Saga. To the northeast of the present farmhouses is rather a large mound, which is called Gunnarshaugur.
According to the legend, Gunnar was buried there. It is, however, unlikely, because it is a rocky mound, not manmade. Near the church and the farmhouses are ruins of an ancient farm, which is said to be Gunnar’s farm.
Bishop Thorlakur Thorhallsson (1133-1193) The Holy was born at Hlidarendi. After his studies abroad, he spent some time at the convent in Kirkjubaer in the present Sida County and then became the prior of the Thykkvibaer monastery before he became bishop at Skalholt in 1178. He strived for increased power and influence for the Church in worldly matters and met with great resistance from the worldly leaders, such as Jon Loftsson at Oddi, one of the most influential and learned leaders of the time. Bishop Thorlakur led a very strict life and shortly after his death, the Icelanders started looking to him as a holy man. He was not canonized until shortly before Pope John Paul’s visit to the country in 1988.
Photo Credit: Bromr