The capital of the North for over 700 years

Hlar in Hjaltadalur is one of the most famous historical places in Iceland. There has been a church at Hlar since the 11th century; the current church was built in 1863. Built from red sandstone mined from the mountain that looms over Hlar. It is the oldest stone church in Iceland. The church has a large number of wonderful artefacts dating back to before reformation and as such has a more catholic"feel to it than most churches in Iceland. During the summer months an attendant is there to assist and guide you through the church. The church tower is 27 metres tall and stands next to the church. It was built on the 400th anniversary of the death of the last catholic bishop at Hlar Jn Arason, who was beheaded along with his son in 1550.

Hlar is also home to Hlar University College which has grown considerably over the last years. Currently there are over 200 people resident at Hlar during the school year. The university specialises in equine studies, aquaculture and rural tourism.

Over the last ten years there has been a considerable amount of archaeological research been done on the site and over 40.000 artefacts have been found. Some snippets of the finds can be seen in the corridors of the main school building.

Above and next to the school is Nibr an old turf house, to the north Auunnarstofa, a conceptualised replica of the home of one of the earlier bishops Auunn, built from wood from Norway, and in the school building itself, Theodrstofa an exhibit honouring the father of the Icelandic Horse' stud book.

Hjaltadalur is lucky to often have the best weather in Skagafjrur and is an ideal place to camp; the camping ground is located within the forest just north of the school. In the forest surrounding the camping ground and beyond are well marked hiking trails where you can enjoy the peace and the nature that this historic place has to offer. After your walk you can relax in the hot tub and pool which is located via the main entrance of the school.

More information about the history trail in Holar can be found here.

Contact Us

Tel(+354) 455 6161

Short Distance Everywhere

Akureyri - Skagafjrur 118 km

Reykjavik - Skagafjrur 290 km

Egilsstair - Skagafjrur 383 km


Skagafjrur Visit Trllaskagi