Before the hamlet started developing at Kirkjubaejarklaustur the land was the property of a big farm called Kirkjubaer. In 1186 a convent of the Benedictine order was established and the conventual life continued until 1550, when the Icelandic people were reformed. Many topographical names in the area remind of the catholic past, such as the freestanding rocky mound west of the hamlet, called Systrastapi, or the Sisters’ Mound. Two nuns are said to be buried there after they were burned at the stake for their sins.
This area contains a few of the most beautiful natural phenomena and landscapes of the country and offers some recreational opportunities, salmon and trout fishing, hiking possibilities, historical sites, sightseeing etc. Services rendered to the visitors are as good as they get, a nice hotel, sleeping bag accommodations, restaurants, camping grounds, a swimming pool etc.
After the establishment of Europe’s largest national park, Vatnajokull, on June 7th, 2008, Kirkjubaejarklaustur became one of its visitors’ centres.
Photo Credit: Visit South Iceland