Reykholt Hamlet

Reykholt Hamlet

A place of cultural importance to Icelanders, Reykholt was home to a 13th-century politician, historian, and writer, Snorri Sturluson. 

As a child, Snorri was fostered by the eminent Jon Loftsson of Oddi and grew up well-versed in the history and literature of Scandinavia.

To further his political aims, Snorri married to acquire the wealthy estate of his forebears at Borg but the marriage was not a success and Snorri moved to Reykholt. 

His rise and fall have all the drama of a Shakespeare play and have made more enemies than friends his fate was sealed; Snorri was murdered in the cellar of his house in 1241.

Excavations on the site have revealed the tunnel that led from the house to his bathing pool, which has been carefully restored. 

It is interesting to note that there are few written sources about early uses of geothermal heat in Iceland but Snorri's bath was clearly the work of a visionary man.  

Visitors can wander around the site and see the pool and tunnel, and the 19th-century timber church but there is a charge to visit the Saga Museum, research institute, and the modern church. 

The statue of Snorri is by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland and was donated by the Norwegian government in 1947, in recognition of Snorri's contribution to recording not only Iceland's early history but also that of Norway. 

There is a small service station and café on the main road at Reykholt, while the hotel also serves meals.