Esja is the most prominent mountain within the capital area after the
unification of the municipality of Reykjavik and the Kjalarnes County in
it certainly has become the city mountain.
Its highest point was believed to be Hatindur (909m), but later a
higher lying point, 914 m, was proclaimed nearby.
The mountain was probably created during the early stages of the
ice age, about 2,5 million years ago, and stacked up with alternating
strata of basaltic lavas and hyaloclastites, which have been
metamorphosed and show a variety of colours.
different parts of the mountain carry various names, and just east of Mt
Esja are a few light coloured, rhyolite peaks called Mts Moskardshnukar.
Further east is Mt Skalafell with a relay station for the radio
and television broadcasting on top and relatively good
The easiest routes up the slopes start at the Forestry Service
Centre at Mogilsa and from the farm Esjuberg.
In 1873 limestone quarrying was started at Mogisla and the
processing took place in Reykjavik.
This enterprise was not profitable and was discontinued, but not
without another try in 1916-17.
to historical sources, Orlygur Hrappsson settled the land between Rivers
Mogilsa and Osvifursa.
Saint Patrick of Ireland appeared to him in a dream and advised
him to move with his family to Iceland and settle, where he could see
three split mountains from the sea.
He missed them and sailed too far north, where he entered a long
named it after the Saint and it still carries his name.
On his way south again he found the right area and built his farm
and named it Esjuberg.
During the Saga Period it was occupied by the most prominent
personality of the so-called Kjalnesinga Saga, Bui Andridarson.
farms were on the end of the Kolla Bay, Mogilsa and Kollafiord.
The former has been one of the main centres of the Icelandic
Forestry Service since 1967 and the latter became one of the centres for
the national salmon rearing project the same year.
Some historians have placed the so-called Kjalarnes
Parliament’s meeting place at Leidvollur, just north of the Kolla Bay.
It was the predecessor of the common parliament for the whole
country, which was established in the Thingvellir Area (The
Parliamentary Plains) in 930 after having been moved to Lake Ellidavatn.
SOUTHWEST ICELAND SAGA TRAILS