Skagaströnd Village and Þórdís the Prophetess in Skagi in North-Iceland
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 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.
Þórdís the Prophetess
In the 10th century there lived a Prophetess named Þórdís by the roots of the mountain Spákonufell. Folklore in Þjóðsögur Jóns Árnasonar - the Collection of Folklore of Jón Árnason tells us the story of Þórdís.
Jón Árnason (1819-1888) was born not far from Skagaströnd at Hof.
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.
Ruins at Spákonuhof museum
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.
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 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 that broke Þórdís's back.
Geese at Spákonuhof museum
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.
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.
Þórdís the Prophetess at Spákonuhof museum
She said that this chest would belong to a woman, who was neither baptized 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).
Pretty tough, eh? And as fortune has it then Þórdís fostered Þorvaldur víðförli who became the first missionary in Iceland.
There is a museum in Skagaströnd called Spákonuhof - the Skagaströnd Museum of Prophecies, where one can visit the museum on Þórdís the Prophetess. And get your fortune told. Most of my photos in this travel-blog are from my visit to Spákonuhof.
Fortune-telling at Spákonuhof Skagaströnd
The exhibition at the museum of Spákonuhof depicts all kinds 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 the 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!
The view-dial at Spákonuhöfði points towards Mt. Spákonufell
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.
The view-dial at Spákonufellshöfði
The view-dial at Spákonuhöfði and the village Skagaströnd
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 and the surrounding area
My father-in-law designs view-dials in Iceland and on my travels I am always on the look-out for view-dials. He designed the view dial at Skagaströnd and his assistants were Jón Víðis and Þórný, his children.
The view-dial at Spákonuhöfði
The view-dial shows the names and height of the surrounding mountains and a time of 3 hours. It is a basalt column with a chrome-plated view-dial.
The view-dial was erected on Iceland's national holiday, the 17th of June in 2007 by the Lions Club of Skagaströnd
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.
Have a lovely time at Skagaströnd :)
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