The village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur

Posted on August 8, 2010 by

Road N. 1, that goes by the Ocean in the South, enters a waste land surrounded by mountains and the sea, that offers to tourists that astonishing contrast between the black rocks and the green of the arctic moss that covers them.

The only settlement of the area is Kirkjubaejarklaustur, a small village of 150 inhabitants named after a convent of Irish nuns that stood here in the Middle Age. Many toponyms come after the convent and mix their history to ancient believes:

  • Kirkjubaejarklaustur: means churh of the nuns’ convent;
  • Systrastapi, it’s the name of a hill where, the story goes, two nuns charged of sorcery, were buried; the name comes after Systra- sister, and Stapi- rock;
  • Systrafoss, it’s the name of the spot where a nun was doing the laundry and from where she fell down pushed by a troll; the name is composed by Systra and Foss- fall;
  • Systravatn, it’s the name of the lake from where someone tells to have seen a hand with a golden ring coming out of the water; it’s composed by Systra and Vatn- lake;
  • Jón Steingrímsson is buried in the churchyard of Kirkjubaejarklaustur. On 20th July 1783, during the eruption of the Skaftá volcano, he pronounced the famous speech with whom he convinced God to stop the lava before it destroyed Systrastapi
nupstadur kirkebaurklastur

nupstadur kirkebaurklastur ph by Giulia A.

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