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KALFANES Strandir

Region: Strandir
Coordinates: 65.77° N 21.68° W

The abandoned farm Kalfanes is situated just north of hamlet Holmavik and the local airport was built on a part of the property. The hamlet is also situated within the boundaries of the property. Kalfanes was a church site until after 1709, but forty years later no church is documented there. Written sources tell us about the consecration of the first church in 1182. When the country’s only saint, bishop Thorlakur the Holy, was visiting the churches of the Northwest, he also visited Kalfanes, where a new church was already standing. It was dedicated to the Holy Mother, John the Baptist, the apostle Peter and King Olaf the Holy of Norway. Services were held there every second Sunday and also on days dedicated to its patron saints. Presumably the church was used for christenings, weddings and funerals as well and somewhere around it should be a cemetery.

The Bishops’ Sagas tell us about bishop Gudmundur the Good, who also travelled through the area once and consecrated a cold spring in the proximity of the most travelled route at Kalfanes. The Land Register of 1709 reveals the advantages of the farm as one of the larges properties of the District, trout and char fishing in Rivers Osa and Trollkonusiki, lichens and brushwood for fuel. The farm was abandoned in 1940 and the houses were disassembled to build a dwelling for the District Sheriff at Holmavik. Only the concrete cellar of the farmhouse is still standing.

A very rare plant, related to the common nettle (Urtica dioeca) grows on the farm mound, where the area it covers looks like a dark spot in the landscape. This plant is mentioned in written sources from the 18th century and praised for its healing power. Its root was boiled in wine and honey and the brew used against lung diseases. In Sweden and England its fibres were used to make cloth and paper.
WESTFJORDS & STRANDIR SAGA TRAILS

Links in KALFANES Strandir