Skagaströnd Village and Þórdís the Prophetess in Skagi in North-Iceland - an Icelandic Folklore

You will find a lovely village on the Skagi peninsula called Skagaströnd. I have already written about the pearls of the peninsula Skagi in North-West Iceland, Ketubjörg Cliffs and Kálfshamarsvík, but want to tell you a little bit about an interesting museum in this village. 

The museum is connected to a folklore, which tells the story of Þórdís the Prophetess and Mt. Spákonufell. This museum in Skagaströnd is dedicated to the Prophetess and my photos are from inside that museum.

In the 10th century there lived a Prophethess named Þórdís by the roots of the mountain Spákonufell. A folklore in Þjóðsögur Jóns Árnasonar - the Folklore of Jón Árnason tells us the story of Þórdís.

Jón Árnason (1819-1888) was born not far from Skagaströnd at Hof. 

Skagaströnd Village and Þórdís the Prophetess in Skagi in North-Iceland - an Icelandic Folklore

Þórdís regarded the mountain as her own and on that mountain, she wanted to die later on in life. She hiked up the mountain every day and there she combed her hair with a golden comb. From there is a good view of the surrounding areas

A stubborn sheep, called Grákolla, owned by the minister at Hof, roamed around free. Every day the sheep went up to the mountain to a special place called Leyningsdalir valley and ate the grass there. And then it returned back home to Hof at night. This irritated Þórdís and she repeatedly chased the sheep out of the mountain.

She warned the minister to not let his sheep roam free on the mountain. This dispute ended in Þórdís killing the sheep by breaking its back when she threw a big rock at the sheep. Þórdís threw the rock from Spákonufellsborg above the valley in the mountain.

Skagaströnd Village and Þórdís the Prophetess in Skagi in North-Iceland - an Icelandic Folklore

The minister was devastated when he found out that his sheep was dead and told his shepherd to hike up the mountain to a place above Spákonufellsborg, where Þórdís used to comb her hair and throw a glove on her back while she was combing her hair and let her know that this was payback from the minister for the killing of his sheep, Grákolla.

When the shepherd wanted to throw the glove at Þórdís, a rock fell from the edge where the shepherd stood. Þórdís, who was combing her hair, looked up and into the eyes of the shepherd. He lost consciousness on the cliff top and was unconscious for the most of the day. When he woke up he saw that Þórdís was dead on the ground below him. The glove had turned into a big boulder which broke Þórdís's back.

The minister, who had been bedridden since his sheep was killed, was so happy that Þórdís was dead that he immediately recovered and got out of bed. The people of Skagaströnd were happy as well as Þórdís had been a big bully.

Skagaströnd Village and Þórdís the Prophetess in Skagi in North-Iceland - an Icelandic Folklore

It is as if Þórdís had suspected that she was close to death after killing the sheep Grákolla. As she had taken a treasure chest, containing her whole fortune, and hid it on top of Spákonufellsborg, with the key in the lock.

She said that this chest would belong to a woman, who were neither baptised nor knew of the word of God. If such a woman were to find the treasure chest then she would be able to open it easily and the whole fortune would belong to her. But to everybody else, this chest would seem like a rock. Still, no woman has claimed this treasure.

(Recapitulated from the Folklore of Jón Árnason).

Skagaströnd Village and Þórdís the Prophetess in Skagi in North-Iceland - an Icelandic Folklore

Pretty tough, eh? And as fortune has it then Þórdís fostered Þorvaldur víðförli who became the first missionary in Iceland.

Skagaströnd Village and Þórdís the Prophetess in Skagi in North-Iceland - an Icelandic Folklore
Mt. Spákonufell or "Prophetess Mountain" is by Skagaströnd. It is 639 meters high. There is a path leading up to the mountain by the road west of the mountain and the 2-3 km hike up the mountain takes some 1.5 - 2 hours. I haven't done this hike myself, but it is always on my agenda.

My photo of Skagaströnd village is taken from the view-dial at Spákonufellshöfði hill pointing towards the village. It is well worth walking up on the hill to have a look at the view-dial. From there is a good view of Skagaströnd village. My father-in-law makes the view-dials in Iceland and on my travels I am always on the look-out for view-dials.

Skagaströnd Village and Þórdís the Prophetess in Skagi in North-Iceland - an Icelandic Folklore

There is a museum in Skagaströnd called Spákonuhof - the Skagaströnd Museum of Prophecies, where one can visit the museum on Þórdís the Prophethess. And get your fortune told.

The exhibition at the museum of Spákonuhof depicts all kind of prophecy methods and fortune telling, runes, reading of guts, Tarot cards, cards, palm reading, the reading in coffee mugs etc. 

Fortune telling is a popular pastime in Iceland and there are many psychics in my country. At Spákonuhof you can get various readings in small rooms with a different theme; be it Tarot card reading, rune reading or palmistry - or a combination of all the above.

My mother got a combination of all above and I got a Tarot card reading. It was uncanny how accurate the reading was.

It is an interesting exhibition and one can get to see the treasure chest of Þórdís!

Skagaströnd Village and Þórdís the Prophetess in Skagi in North-Iceland - an Icelandic Folklore

To reach Skagaströnd and Skagi peninsula from Reykjavík you can rent a car and drive up there in a day.

To reach Skagaströnd from Blönduós town, which is by ring-road 1, turn unto road 74 and drive for 23 km to Skagaströnd.

Skagaströnd Village and Þórdís the Prophetess in Skagi in North-Iceland - an Icelandic Folklore

If you would like to overnight at Skagaströnd there is a Charming Cottage in Skagaströnd for rent.

Check out the rental cars available in Iceland for your drive. And all the self-drive tours with accommodation, a car and a detailed itinerary included.

Have a lovely time at Skagaströnd :)

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