Holar (Hólar) in Hjaltadalur

Holar (Hólar) in Hjaltadalur

Wedged in a sheltered and scenic valley framed by glaciated mountains, Holar is one of the most famous historical sites in Iceland and was an Episcopal See and an important cultural and religious center for 700 years.

There has been a church on the site since the 11th century and the present Holar Cathedral was consecrated in 1763. 

It is the oldest stone-built church in Iceland. It has a separate tower, added in 1950 to commemorate 400 years since the death of Jon Arason, the last Catholic bishop at Holar.

Holaskoli School, founded in 1882, was an agricultural school, but there is evidence that Holar served as a focal point for education, religion, and culture from the time of the first bishopric, established in 1106.

Archaeological research has been carried out at Holar over the past years and more than 40 thousand items found, some of which are now on display in the old schoolhouse. 

In Holar you can visit the quirky Icelandic Beer Centre and also the Icelandic Horse History Centre.