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The history of Reykjanes is diverse and there are many interesting places and buildings in Reykjanes that are worth a visit. Below are examples of places we recommend exploring if you are interested in the history of Reykjanes.


Gallow Cliffs near Hagafell
Cliffs known as Gallows Cliffs or Hanging Rocks. The cliffs were used to execute thieves captured in Þorbjarnarfell according to an old folk story.   Location: From road 43 there is a short walk. 
The Church in Ytri-Njarðvík
The Church in Ytri-Njarðvík was opened on April 19th, 1979. The church was designed by two architects, Ormar Þór Guðmundsson and Örnólfur Hall. The church is 400 square meters and has a 108 square meter basement. It has seating for 230 people in the main area but it can be extended to 330 if needed.  Phone: +354 421 5013
Keflavíkurkirkja / Keflavik Church
Keflavik Church was built in 1914 and designed by Rögnvaldur Ólafsson.  Opening hours:  Mondays - Thursdays: 10:00 - 12:00 & 13:00 - 15:00 Fridays: 10:00 - 12:00 Website:  Phone: +354 420 4300  
Junkaragerdi was a farm just north of the Hafnarberg Cliffs.  Its name was probably derived from 12-18 foreigner, who lived there, and were called "Junkers".  They were said to be heavy drinkers, strong men, and womanizers.  The neighbours wanted to get rid of them, and one night they damaged the rowlocks of their boats.  The Junkers went fishing in the early morning and during the day they encountered bad weather and the rowlocks broke.  The Junkers then supported the oars with their knees and got back home.  The next time their oars were sawn half through and the saw marks were hidden.  The Junkers went fishing and never came back. Copy right:  Used by permission.
The "Turkish" raid.
In the year 1627, pirates from Algiers raided Iceland. They first attacked the Westman Islands, then arrived at Grindavík on June 20. The Algerian pirates were known as "Turks" in Iceland, as Algeria was then a part of the huge Ottoman Empire. They seized Icelanders and Danes and sold them into slavery in north Africa. No-one was killed in the raid on Grindavík, but two were injured. Some of the enslaved prisoners were later ransomed and eventually returned to Iceland; one of them, Guðríður Símonardóttir, married the Rev. Hallgrímur Pétursson, author of the Hymns of the Passion and Halldór the grandfather of Jón Þorkelsson Thorkillius the principal.
Cove Helguvik
Helguvik is a small cove close to the freestanding rock Stakkur off Cliff Holmsberg, just north of Keflavik in the town Reykjanesbær.  Nowadays this cove is a flourishing trade centre with an harbour, capelin meal factory, a processing factory for capelin, a lively cement trade and an asphalt factory.  More industries are showing interest in settling in its vicinity. Copy right:  Used by permission
Kirkjubol was a farm at Gardskagi, often occupied by rich farmers and noblemen. In 1433, a group of men, escorting Bishop Jon Gerreksson of Skalholt under the command of Magnus Kaemaster, who had asked for the hand of Margret, the daughter of Governor Vigfus Holm, but suffered rejection, visited Kirkjubol. Magnus was furious and decided to set the farm afire and burn Margret alive. She was, however, the only person to escape from the fire and get away on horseback. She vowed to marry the man who would carry out her revenge. It was done by Thorvaldur Loftsson from the farm Modruvellir in the North. In 1550, the last catholic bishop of the northern see was executed. Kristian, the envoy of the Danish Governor, was responsible for that decision. In the early part of 1551 he travelled with a large group of men to the Reykjanes Peninsula on the King´s business and spent the night at Kirkjubol. During the night a group of men from the North attacked the farm, and with the permission of the farmer they breached the roof to get in, where they killed Kristian and most of his men. Their bodies were buried north of the home fields. Immediately afterwards the dead started haunting the living and the Northlanders exhumed the bodies, severed the heads from them and put them at their buttocks to prevent any further wanderings of their souls. News of the slayings and the demeaning burying methods reached the King´s court and Danish soldiers were sent to the farm to apprehend the farmer, who was then beheaded at Farm Straumur. Copy right:  Used by permission.
Reykjanes Lighthouse
The first lighthouse in Iceland was built on Valahnúkur in Reykjanes inthe year 1878. By 1905 earthquakes and surf had damaged Valahnúkurso much that there was the risk of the lighthouse falling into the sea. A new lighthouse was therefore built in 1907-1908 on Bæjarfell hill in Reykjanes and the old one was demolished with an explosion on april 16th 1908. A survey which Rögnvaldur Guðmundsson supervised in 2007 for the Icelandic Maritime Administration led to the conclusion that Reykjanes lighthouse was the most popular lighthouse among Icelanders. The lightsignal height is 69 meters above sealevel but the actual height of the lighthouse is 26 metres. Reykjanes lighthouse also has a radio beacon with a correction signal. There is carved rock and concrete in the lighthouse. Architect Frederik Kjørboe and engineer Thorvald Krabbe designed the lighthouse. The operationof Reykjanes Lighthouse is under the supervision of the Icelandic Maritime Administration.  
Eldvorp - Remnants of ancent settlement
Shelters made of rock, ancient paths and stacked walls. They have been discoverd near Eldvörp, a row of scoria and spatter cones formed in the Reykjanes Fires 1210-1240 AD. Location: Close to Eldvörp, walk from road 425.
Hallgrímur Pétursson
Hallgrímur (1614-74), regarded as Iceland's greatest religious poet, is best known for his Hymns of the Passion. First published in 1666, the Hymns of the Passion have been translated into many other languages, including Latin and Chinese. For centuries Icelanders have read the Hymns of the Passion, along with the Bible, for inspiration and spiritual comfort. During Lent the Hymns are still read today in all major churches in Iceland. As a young man, Hallgrímur went to Denmark to train as a blacksmith but, following the advice of the Rev. Brynjólfur Sveinsson, later bishop of Skálholt, Hallgrímur decided to train for the priesthood instead. In 1637 he returned to Iceland after five years study, and settled in Njarðvík, a village in Reykjanes Peninsula. He was appointed to Hvalsnes Church in the village of Sandgerði, where he served for seven years. He was already known for his poetry, but first achieved true fame after his death. At Hvalsnes the gravestone of his beloved daughter Steinunn, who died at the age of four, was discovered during building work. The stone, believed to have been cut by Hallgrímur's own hand, is the only object of Hallgrímur's making in existence. On the death of his little girl, Hallgrímur wrote the hymn which is still sung at every funeral in Iceland.
Ruins of farm partly covered by lava flow. The Húshólmi area is a so called „clearing“ over which the lava Ögmundarhraun didn´t flow during an eruption in the year 1151. The lava came flowing from vulcanic craters on the east side of Núpshlíðarháls hill down to the shore. According to archaeologists, in the western part of the „clearing“ are ruins of the ancient Krýsuvík farm, dated back since before the year 900. Among the ruins are presumably parts of a home, a church and a semetary. Húshólmi is a popular outdoor area and a interesting site worth visiting. 
Patterson Airport was built in 1942 by the usa navy. The airport was mainly used to maintain the aircrafts. Next to the airport can be found Subfossils shells, since 20.000-22.000 years ago. They lived shorly before the Late Glacial Maximum at about 18.000 years age. The sea level at that time was about 5-10 m. The airport was closed 1945.   Location: Road 44 at fence on Patterson. Walk north from old ammunition supplier  
Stori Holmur was a mansion in the Leira County.  Probably Steinunn the Old, an aunt of Ingolfur Arnarson, the first Norwegian settler, lived there.  On the property is one of the country´s best golf courses, operated by the Sudurnes Golf ClubCopy right:  Used by permission.
The Lighthouse on Gardskagi
On Garðskagi you can find two lighthouses, the older one and also the smaller of the two was once regarded as one of the best lighthouses in Iceland because it stood low and therefore mist was not a problem. Although there was risk of the lighthouse being damaged because of surf and it was sometimes not visible because of seastorm. A new lighthouse was built on Garðskagi in 1944. At 28 metres it is the highest lighthouse in Iceland and was in second place in a survey which Rögnvaldur Guðmundsson supervised concerning the favorite lighthouses of the Icelandic people. Engineer Axel Sveinsson designed the lighthouse but the lighthouse is a radar transponder and used for weather surveilance. The operation of thelighthouse is under the supervision of the Icelandic Maritime Administration.
Stadur is a former parsonage and a church site a short distance to the west of the town Grindavik. It was a parsonage until in the beginning of the 20th century. The catholic churches there were dedicated to the Holy Mother, St John the Apostle, St Stephan, St King Olaf, St Bishop Blasius, St Bishop Thorlakur, and St Holy Virgin Cathrine. The Stadur Church was moved to the District of Jarngerdarstadir in 1909 and named the Church of Grindavik. The semetary of Grindavík is there. A statue of the beloved reverand Oddur V. Gíslason is in the semetary who served the parish in 19th century. Copy right:  Used by permission.
The cod war at Básendar and Grindavík
In 2013 an old run down water tank was turned into a piece of art by the art movement Toyisim, 28 people helped with the transformation including 3 local residents. The water tank was unveilied during a local town festival in 2013 called Ljósanótt (The Night of Lights) and is the largest mural in Iceland.  
Kalfatjörn is a former farm, parsonage and church site in the Vatnsleysa County.  It was a parsonage until 1907, when the parish was united with the Gardar parish of the Kjalarnes deanery.  During catholic times, the church was dedecated to St Peter.  The present church was built in 1892-93 and consecrated June 11th 1893.  It was built of wood and covered with corrugated iron on stone foundations.  It seats 150 persons.  It now belongs to the Tjorn Parish.  The altarpiece, a replica of the one in the Reykjavik Cathedral, painted by Sigurdur Guðmundsson, is equally old as the church. Copy right:  Used by permission
The spit on which you are standing is named Hópsnes on the west side and Þórkötlustaðanes on the east side. The spit is 2 km long and 1 km wide and was formed 2,800 years ago when lava flowed into the sea. Hópsnes/Þórkötlustaðanes was formed during an eruption from a row of craters named Sundhnúkur located just north of the village of Grindavík. Port conditions in Grindavík are excellent due to this lava flow and the lagoon (Hópið) that formed beside the spit when the sea began to erode the lava and move loose materials. If the spit were not there, the village of Grindavík would probably never have been built. The fact is that it is one of six communities on the Reykjanes peninsula that owes its existence to an eruptive fissure in a volcanic system that is still active. Eruptions could occur in this area at any time. From its earliest days, Grindavík has been one of the main fishing centres in Iceland. Sundhnúkur, from where the lava that formed the spit flowed, has navigation signals showing the route through the gap into the harbour. Travelling around the spit, one can see a number of shipwrecks that have run aground here and in the neighbourhood in the course of the 20th century. There are information signs by some of the wrecks. Both the village and fishing-vessel operations flourished in the early 20th century. Numerous rowing boats and later motor boats were operated from Þórkötlustaðanes. There are a good number of remains of the settlement that is no more, such as entrance cairns, fish-storage huts, ice storages, fish-processing houses, liver-processing and salt huts. The fishing operation moved to the location that is now Grindavík harbour in 1939, when a group of energetic Grindavík residents took it upon themselves to dig a channel through the reef that had hitherto prevented boats from entering the Hópið lagoon. The Hópsnes lighthouse was built in 1928. Today the area is a popular recreational area with a hiking and biking trail. 
Gallow cliffs in Stafnes
Place of execution according to an old folk story.  Cliffs, two of which are quite high, with an inlet several fathoms deep between them. A tree between was laied between the two cliffs and men hanged from it a punishment for serious crimes.   Location: About 1 km from Básendar, short walk from road 45
The Church in Innri-Njarðvík
By the initiative of Ásbjörn Ólafsson, a farmer in Innri-Njarðvík, a church was built on the location. The church was consegrated in 1886 and is made from carved rock which was brought from the shore nearby and the heath above the inhabitated area. Magnús Magnússon (1842-1887) organized the carving of the rocks. One of the three clocks in the churchtower is an ancient clock made in 1725. The Church in Innri-Njarðvík is preserved.
The Giganta in the cave
Giganta in the mountain moved to Reykjanesbær during the family and cultural festival the Night of Lights in 2008 and is now located in Black Cave at the marina in Gróf. There Giganta has been settling in her nice cave with its superb view over the bay of Keflavík and Faxaflói. Giganta is originally the creation of author Herdís Egilsdóttir who has written 16 stories about the little girl Sigga and her friend Giganta in the mountain. The last one describes her migration to Reykjanesbær. The Giganta is in full size and sits sleeping in a rocking chair in the kitchen. Open every day from 10:00 -17:00. Free Admission Contact: Tel.: 420-3245Email: duushus@reykjanesbaer.isWebsite:
The Church at Hvalsnes
The church at Hvalsnes was consecrated in 1887. Ketill Ketilsson farmer and ship owner at Kotvogur, who then owned the land at Hvalsnes financed the building of the church. The church is preserved and is completely built of carved stone collected from the local plentiful area of rock. All of the wood in the interior was collected from the shores nearby. Extensive repairs were made to the church in 1945 under the supervision of the architect of the state. One of the most remarkable items of the church is the gravestone of Steinunn Hallgrímsdóttir who died when she was 4 years old in 1649. She was the daughter of Hallgrímur Pétursson Iceland's most important psalmist which at that time served as a priest at the parish in Hvalsnes. The gravestone was lost for a long time but was discovered again in 1964 but it had been used as a part of a walkway leading to the church.The church is still operating today and fits 100 people.   
Krýsuvík Church
Krýsuvík church was built in 1857 and is a typical Icelandic country church from the 19th century. The church was discontinued as a parish church in 1929 and for a time used as a living quarters. In earlier times this was the site of a large and prosperous estate with numerous dependencies. The farm was abandoned around 1950 and then restored in 1964. The church is now under the protection of the National Museum.
The first Icelandic settlers, who came to Iceland around 874 AD, were chiefly of Nordic extraction, mostly from the west coast of Norway. In Iceland they could farm just as they had in the old country, raising livestock and crops. There were rich fishing grounds just off the coast, and the sea also produced other benefits such as driftwood, walruses, birds and whales. Ingólfur Arnarson, the first settler, claimed all the land west of the Ölfusá river, which is now called the Reykjanes peninsula. He then allocated land to five men and one woman. Steinunn the Aged was a relative of Ingólfur: he gave her the northern part of the peninsula, for which she repaid him with a knitted coat. She gave her close relative Eyvindur the land that is now called Vogar. Ingólfur gave land to two other relatives: to Herjólfur Bárðarson the land from Hafnir to the tip of Reykjanes, and to Ásbjörn Össurarson the area between his own land and that of Eyvindur. Moldar-Gnúpur settled in Grindavík and Þórir haustmyrkur ("autumn darkness") settled to the east of Grindavík.
Mt Fagradalsfjall
Mt Fagradalsfjall, the westernmost part of the mountain ridge of the Reykjanes Peninsula, is really a small plateau. Some hyalocaslite ridges protrude, especially in the western part. Its highest elevation is 385 m. above sea level. As of March 2021 an eruption begun in a valley (Geldingadalur) behind Fagradalsfjall.  Frank M. Andrews, the commander in chief of the American forces in the North-Atlantic area during World War II, with several other high ranking officers, was killed there in a crash. They were arriving from USA and preparing for landing on Keflavík Airport. Only one man survived the crash. He had to wait more than 24 hours for rescue. There can still been found items from the plane. Location: In the center of Reykjanes Peninsula, north-east of Grindavík. 
Skagagarður, the Great Wall
A protective wall that lay from Kirkjuból to Útskálar.  The village of Garður at the north tip of the peninsula was named after the wall.  The wall or garður (cognate with English garth), which probably dated from the early days after the settlement, served to keep livestock away from the crops. The wall was broad and tall, built of turf and large rocks. Remnants of it are visible by the old road between Garður and Sandgerði. While today the only reminder of agriculture in the area is fields of grass, several hundred years after the settlement farmers were still cultivating such crops as wheat, oats and barley.   Location: From Útskálakirkja in Garður to Kirkjubólsvelli. By road 45, towards Garðskagalighthouse.
The Lighthouse at Holmsberg was built in1956 and stands 9,3 m tall with a compartmenet for the light of 3,4 m tall. It has identical lighthouses in 6 other parts of Iceland, all designed by the engineer Axel Sveinsson.
Stafnes was a mansion in the past.  There were many fishing outfits on the property and many people lived there during the fishing seasons.  Royal fishing outfits started operating there around the middle of the 16th century and were abolished in 1769.  The inhabitants of the King´s properties in the Southwest were obliged to work on the King´s boats against low pay.  During the 17th and 18th centuries, Stafnes was the most populous fishing outfit on the Reykjanes Peninsula.  The former trading post Basendar is a short distance to the south.  Still further south is the old harbour Thorshofn, which was not much used, because of the proximity of Basendar.  Many vessels have run aground on the Stafnes Skerries.  In 1928 the trawler President Jon ran aground there, 15 of the crew drowned, but 10 were rescued.  This and other similar accidents led to the establishment of The Life Saving Association of Iceland.  Considerable seal hunting was practiced at Stafnes in earlier times. Stafnesviti stands in between the towns Sandgerði and Hafnir at Stafnes and was built in 1925. It stands 8 m. tall built of concrete sement and stands on a concrete stall. It is painted yellow. Copy right:  Used by permission.
Kalmanstjorn is an abandoned farm, a former mansion to the south of Lake Kalmanstjorn, where there are still some ruins reminding of the habitation, where the mansion of Kirkjuhofn stood. According to a legend the house had 50 doors. The farm Kalmanstjorn is said to have been an outlying farm from the mansion Kirkjuhofn. It was a church site and some people claim to be able to see some traces of the cemetery there. A short distance further south is Sandhofn and still further Sandhofn, which was abandoned in 1828. Those farms were all abandoned because of earthquakes and sandstorms.   Copy right:  Used by permission.
During the 19th century ships started frequenting this harbour again.  The merchants of Keflavik often unloaded salt, timber and heavy merchandize there and loaded fish from the farmers of Midnes and Hafnir.  In the beginning of the 20th century the arrivals of ships diminished, because of the opening of the Sandgerdi harbour and a new trading post there. Copy right:  Used by permission.
An area at the south side of Faxaflói, from inside of Hvassahraun to Vogastapi, often called "Ströndin" (the coast) by locals. In all Vatnsleysuströnd is 15km long. Up from it lies Strandarheiði which is all covered in lava rocks, Þráinskjaldarhrauni, which ran to the ocean around 9000 years ago..The inhabited area on Vatnsleysuströnd is only on a thin strip of land by the beach and is mostly in boroughs that formed by the best land.
Jón Þorkelsson og Sveinbjörn Egilsson
Jón Þorkelsson Thorkillius (1697-1759) and Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1791-1852), both born in Innri-Njarðvík, were close relatives. Jón was principal of the cathedral school at Skálhotl, and hence he has been called the father of primary education in Iceland. A monument was erected beside the church in his memory in 1965. Sveinbjörn too was a scholar, and the first principal of Reykjavík High School in 1846. He was a great poet, translator and a grammarian, who wrote a dictionary of Icelandic skaldic language, the Lexicon Poëticum. His most famous works are his translations of Homer. He too is commemorated by a monument at the church.
The Church at Útskálar
Einar Jónsson from Brúarhraun (1818-1891) built the foundation of the church which was consegrated in 1863. The interior of the church was painted and decorated by Áki Gränz a master painter. The church is preserved and has a modern tower design. It is made from wood. One of the most tragic events in Icelandic sea history is connected to the church. On the 8th of March 1685, 156 fishermen drowned at sea in a storm by Reykjanes. Many of them were from North Iceland stationed in the region during the main fishing season. On the 11th March 42 were buried in the church´s graveyard and the next day another 47 bodies drifted ashore in Garður and were also buried in the same mass grave.
Farms Smaller and Big Vatnsleysa were formerly manors and big fishing outfits in the County of the Vatnsleysa County.  They stood on the western shores of the Vatnsleysa Cove, between spit Keilisnes to the west and spit Hraunsnes to the east.  Farm Smaller Vatnsleysa is among the biggest pig farm of the country (producing the Ali-products).  Among the benefits of those two farms were the rich lumpfish grounds, driftwood and thermal activity.  Vatnsleysa was a church site during catholic times, where the churches were dedicated to all the saints and it possessed a big part of the farm´s property.  The churches at Vatnsleysa were served from the parsonage Kalfatjorn for a long time. Copy right:  Used by permission
A rock with three holes, shape like bowls.  Most wanted stop for travellers that had to go to either to Grindavik or Krýsuvík. It is located were these two old roads meet.  The story says that one is for a dog, one for a man and the third for a horse. The water is holy and people could always trust that there would be water to drink.   Location: Short walk from road 427. 
Hafurbjarnarstadir is a farm on Gardskagi. Next to the property is Skagagarður the great stone wall that was between Skagatá and Garðskagi and there it got the name. This place is really important for the history because a burial site was discoverd. Some bones and antiquities were found in 1868 and moved to Antiquarian Museum in Reykjavik. In 1947 9 graves were discovered and 7 or 8 bodies, bones of dogs and horses. More antiquities were discoverd like arms, jewellery and most likely remains of boat grave.    
Selatangar was a big fishing outfit between Grindavik and Krysuvik. It was abolished after 1880. Extended ruins of the abodes and other houses are still very prominent in the landscape. They have been declared inviolate. During the latter part of the 19th century ghosts started haunting the settlement. Driftwood was in abundance at Selatangar in the past, but less nowadays. The surroundings are grandious, low mountains and lava fields. How to get there: A track for 4wd-vehicles lies down to the ruins on the coast from the road to Isolfsskali.
Kirkjuvogur (Church Cove) was a mansion in Hafnir, an annexed church site of the Grindavik parish, which was long served by the reverends of Utskalar. Still earlier, Kirkjuvogur was served from Hvalsnes. The catholic churches were dedicated to the Holy Mother. During the flood storm of 1799 the church was severely damaged. Today the church belongs to municpality of Reykjanesbær. It is the the only black wooden church in the Reykjanes peninsula and is a great stop on the way to The Bridge Between Continents.
A sheep shelter, round in shape and constructed skilfully from lava rocks. Situated 2-3 km from the former parsonage Kalfatjorn in a direct line from there to Mt Dyngja.  It is about two metres high, 8 m in diameter, and 35 m in circumferance.  The ground inside it is flat and covered with grass.No sources reveal its age, but it is considered to be a few centuries old.  According to the legend, a man named Gudmundur built it for the reverend at Kalfatjorn.  He worked elaborately at the construction, collected stones from the surrounding area to have a large selection to chose from to fit them together as perfectly as possible.  He planned to close it with a cone shaped roof of stones, but the reverend envisioned it higher and more prominent than his church´s steeple and stopped the construction work.  The stone mason left it exactly as we see it today.  It was declared inviolate in 1951.
One of the five major high temperature areas of the Reykjanes Peninsula. It supplies all of the communities of the Reykjanes Area with hot water for house heating and other purpose. The famous Blue Lagoon comes from the discharge from the power station. Area of green patches north of the hill Svartsengisfell north of the town Grindavík. On summertime the people of Grindavík celebrate there.  
A eroded subglacial volcano. A section of a small hyaloclastite hill is exposed in the costal cliffs. A dyke named Festi(ladder), evidently the feeder for Festarfjall, passes up through the basement and the Festarfjall sequence, branching towards the base of the lavas. The story say that Festi is a neckless of a woman-troll.  The story also say that it is impossible to walk on the beach downbelow without getting wet! Try and see if you can! Location: Near highway 427