Skálholt, one of the most historic places in Iceland, presently a place of culture and spirituality, with its church and cultural centre. The first settler at Skálholt was Teitur Ketilbjarnarson grandfather of the first bishop, Ísleifur Gissurarson. Skálholt was the seat of bishops 1056-1796, a school after the Reformation and intermittently in Catholic times. Many historical events are connected with Skálholt, such as the execution of the last Catholic bishop, Jón Arason, along with two of his sons in 1550. A memorial has been erected on the spot where Jón Arason was beheaded. A printing press was operated there for a time. The present cathedral was concecrated in 1963 and is decorated with important works by Icelandic artists. Gerður Helgadóttir (1928-1975) designed the beautiful stained glass windows, 43 in all, and Nina Tryggvadóttir (1913-1968) created the mosaic art for the altar. A crypt of former bishops and a related museum is there. During the summer you can come here (during the weekends in June-July) to attend Reykholt Chamber Music Festival.

Location on a map