Hellar is a farm in the Land County in the
Southwestern Lowlands. Some ancient, man made caves in the western
slopes of Mt. Skardsfjall have been used as tool sheds, sheep sheds
and barns up to this date. They were relatively easy to excavate
because of the hyaloclastite structure of the landscape. Some of the
caves may have been made by the Irish hermits, who came to the country
much earlier than the Norwegian settlers did.
One legend tells a story
of a calf, which got lost in the labyrinths of the caves and a
shepherd was sent to look for it. He got lost too and when he
eventually found his way to the surface again, his shoes were filled
with gold dust. The calf, however, was next heard under the
floorboards of the farm Stori-Nupur on the northern side of River
Thjorsa and retrieved there. The caves withstood the tremendous
earthquakes in 1896 and the occupants of the farm have been kind
enough to permit travellers to visit the caves. Such man made caves
can be found in many other places.
At Aegissida, on road # 1 near
the village Hella, are 12 such caves, some of which may have been
occupied in the past. Some farmers excavated such caves for their own
use as well.
For a Cave Tour contact: Margret Sigurjonsdottir Tel.: 487 6583 or
(Saga trail South Iceland)