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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.
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Hallgrímur Pétursson
GPS Points N63° 59' 20.741" W22° 43' 51.153"

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The Reykjanes Peninsula

Towns & Villages

Visitors to Iceland who arrive via Keflavik International Airport on the Reykjanes Peninsula may be somewhat surprised by the landscape that greets their eyes as they touch down in Iceland for the very first time. A seemingly endless, green-grey moss-topped lava field blankets the peninsula for as far as the eye can see, and it is this strange and rather other-worldly sight that is your first glimpse of the land of fire and ice. 

Map Garður Sandgerði Reykjanesbær Vogar Grindavík