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Inngjaldshóll farm and church


Inngjaldshóll church and the lupin field
Inngjaldshóll church and the lupin field

Ingjaldshóll is an old farm and a church that you should visit if you are traveling the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in Iceland. The farm and its history can be traced back to the 10th century. It has always been an important place in the surrounding region throughout the centuries. Currently, and for the last fifty to sixty decades, it has been deserted as a farm because the quality of the soil has declined due to wind erosion. But still, it can uphold its importance and role in the nearby region as it is the home of the church for the communities in the twin villages of Rif and Hellissandur. The church is one of the oldest concert buildings in Iceland, built in 1903, and Ingjaldshóll is one of the most spectacular places in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula for a grand view of the fjord Breiðafjörður and also towards the glacier, Snæfellsjokull.


West Region and Snæfellsnes on the map of Iceland
West Region and Snæfellsnes on the map of Iceland

A place with a pile of stories and folklore

The church is a short distance from the main road
The church is a short distance from the main road

Ingjaldshóll is renowned for strange stories involving trolls and spells as well as protection from the powerful spirit of Bárður Snæfellsás. One of the best-known stories is the story of the farmer Inngjaldur at Hóll and the troll Hetta. The troll woman Hetta told Inngjaldur about a very rich fishing ground after being caught stealing his sheep. It was a change in their negotiations to soften him up. Inngjaldur believed her and soon enough headed to the rich fishing ground only to find himself caught in a severe storm. Possibly facing his final hour, he called upon the powerful spirit Bárður Snæfellsás who apparently came to his rescue, much to the annoyance and surprise of Hetta. This, of course, is a true story from the Saga Báður Snæfellsás.


A very busy place for ages, although small today

Did Christopher Columbus stay at Ingjaldshóll farm?
Did Christopher Columbus stay at Ingjaldshóll farm?

In the 15th and throughout the 18th century, Ingjaldshóll, as well as the nearby region, was a busy place both as a trading post and as a tiny fishing village. In 1477 a young sailor came to the Rif on a ship from Bristol in England. He stayed for the winter at Ingjaldshóll, eager to learn about the journeys of the Vikings to the west, Greenland, and Vineland. Possibly visiting the not-so-distant Eiríksstaðir to learn about Erik the Red and his son Leif the Lucky, who discovered America five centuries earlier. This gentleman came from Italy, and his name was Christopher Columbus. So if you stop at Ingjaldsstaðir and enjoy the magnificent view over Breiðafjörður and to the glacier Snæfellsjokull, you are in the same steps as the great explorer stood some five and a half-century ago.


Access is very simple


There are many places in Iceland that have an interesting history and are also floating with stories that go back hundreds of centuries. Places that had a bigger role in the past than they have today. One such place is Ingjaldshóll and the church at Ingjaldshóll. From the 14th century up until the 18th century, this was one of the largest churches in Iceland. Service was provided to a large population and a large area compared to many other churches at that time. The new church was built in 1903 and was the first church in Iceland built with concrete. The altarpiece was painted by Þóarinn B. Þorláksson, the painter that historians have given the honor of being the first Icelandic artist. Not to forget the surroundings, the mysterious glacier Snæfellsjökull, and its hidden power.


So we recommend if you are traveling the Snæfellsnes Peninsula on the road Útvegur Nr. 574, you should look for Road Nr. 5738 to Ingjaldshóll. Today it is most interesting because of its history and also because of the view, in any direction. Quite a scenic place to visit.



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