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Informazioni su Skansinn Fort

4.6
83 Google recensioni
Tipo
Attrazioni culturali, Avvistamenti di uccelli
Destinazione
Vestmannaeyjabær, Iceland
Distanza dal centro
1.0 km
Adatto alle famiglie
Valutazione media
4.6
Numero di recensioni
83

The Skansinn fort on Heimaey Island invites exploration of its historical features and scenic surroundings, offering a glimpse into its fascinating past.The Skansinn fort on Heimaey Island invites exploration of its historical features and scenic surroundings, offering a glimpse into its fascinating past.

The fort is in a picturesque bayside area and boasts stunning vistas. It's steeped in history and a testament to the island's resilience. Visitors can learn about Skansinn's significance while basking in the incredible setting of steep, rugged hillsides and tranquil waters.

Skansinn is named Kornhólsskans in Icelandic, but it's more commonly called 'Skansinn' or simply 'The Fort.' Discover the iconic Stafkirkjan church (the Heimaey stave church), the Landlyst Museum, and the lone cannon set against breathtaking views.

Travelers can rent a car and visit the Skansinn fort independently. Or, book a Westman Islands tour to tap into the knowledge of an experienced guide and hand the planning and organization to a local expert.

Book a two-hour kayaking tour with puffin watching from the Skansinn harbor. This excursion provides an excellent way to enjoy Klettsvik bay's spectacular scenery and wildlife. Or, check out this two-hour private and customizable tour with a local guide to visit Skansinn and other highlights of Heimaey.


Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Julien Carnot. No edits made


Location of Skansinn Fort and How to Get There

The Skansinn fort is in a picturesque bayside area and boasts stunning vistas.Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Martin Peeks. No edits made

Skansinn fort is on Heimaey Island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago (Westman Islands). It's at the island's north end, close to the port and opposite the Hraunskogur valley.

Skansinn is an easy walk from Vestmannaeyjabaer town or the port. Follow Strandvegur road, which turns into Skansvegur road. Then turn left onto Skansinn road. A short way along, you'll find the fort area with the museum and church.

Alternatively, you can take a scenic walk across the lava fields to Skansinn. Start from the rainbow steps on Kirkjuvegur road and follow the easy-level trail to Skansinn. The walk has informative signs about the Eldfell eruption and remembrance plaques for buildings lost to the lava.

Heimaey connects to the Icelandic mainland with regular ferry services from Landeyjahofn on Iceland's South Coast. Landeyjahofn port is approximately 84 miles (136 kilometers) southeast of Reykjavik.

History of Skansinn Fort

Skansinn fort was built in 1586 upon the Danish King's request.Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Hansueli Krapf. No edits made

Skansinn fort was built in 1586 upon the Danish King's request. It was created to protect Vestmannaeyjar from English sailors and merchants who often ignored trade bans and fishing restrictions. Later, English fishing in the area decreased, but Vestmannaeyjar still required protection from pirates. 

In 1627, pirates sailed from Algeria and invaded Vestmannaeyjar. The pirates arrived on the other side of the island to Skansinn, so the fort was unsuccessful in preventing 242 islanders from being abducted and sold into slavery. Algeria was under Turkish rule then, which is why this event is referred to as the Turkish invasion.

Skansinn was rebuilt into an improved version after the 1627 invasion. The Danish military was assigned to defend Vestmannaeyjar from further attacks, and military exercises were carried out at Skansinn.

Skansinn was the central flag and maritime station for many years and was responsible for monitoring ships in the area. During World War II, Skansinn was Vestmannaeyjar's British military base.

Natural Environment at Skansinn Fort

Skansinn's landscape underwent significant transformation following Heimaey's disastrous volcanic eruption in 1973.Photo from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Diego Delso. No edits made

Skansinn lies on the shores of Klettsvik bay, a location steeped in cinematic history. It's the site where the famous whale Keiko from the movie "Free Willy" was released. 

Skansinn boasts a captivating natural environment framed by three majestic mountains - Heimaklettur, Midklettur, and Ystiklettur. This idyllic setting provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts, offering prime opportunities for kayaking and birdwatching, including the chance to spot puffins during summer. 

Skansinn's landscape underwent significant transformation following Heimaey's disastrous volcanic eruption in 1973. The event added over 0.77 square miles (2 square kilometers) of lava to the island. 

The lava engulfed Skansinn's walls, reshaping its appearance. However, portions of the fort's walls were reconstructed through the resilience of the islanders. Notably, the Hringskersgardur jetty, once situated in the sea, now finds itself nestled within the channel. 

Islanders redirected the lava flow, cooling it to prevent it from submerging the jetty entirely. As a result, Skansinn stands today as a testament to both natural forces and human ingenuity, offering visitors a glimpse into the island's remarkable history and evolving landscape.

Attractions at Skansinn Fort

Discover the Stafkirkjan church, a gorgeous replica of Norway's Haltdalen stave church.Photo by Regína Hrönn Ragnarsdóttir. No edits made

An array of attractions awaits within the Skansinn fort for a multifaceted experience that blends history, culture, and natural beauty.

Marvel at the old cannon sitting on the fort's walls. It's been there for a long time, standing guard like a silent soldier from the past.

Explore the Landlyst Museum in Skansinn, once Iceland's first maternity hospital, now transformed into an intriguing museum showcasing the island's medical history. In this unique setting, learn how healthcare began on the island and the early days of medical care.

Discover the Stafkirkjan church, a gorgeous replica of Norway's Haltdalen stave church. This architectural gem showcases exquisite craftsmanship and reflects Iceland's Nordic heritage. Its black exterior contrasts with the vibrant natural surroundings, creating a picture-perfect photo opportunity.

Above the fort's walls, remnants of the town's old water tanks bear witness to nature's devastating power. They were crushed by molten rock during the 1973 Eldfell eruption. Visitors can reflect on the resilience of the islanders as they gaze upon these reminders of the past.

After exploring the historical sites, relax with a leisurely picnic amid awe-inspiring views of the bay and mountains.

Other Attractions on Heimaey Island

The Westman Islands boasts captivating natural scenery.Heimaey Island has many attractions beyond Skansinn fort, each adding to the island's rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural wonders.

Immerse yourself in the captivating stories of Heimaey's past at the Sagnheimar Folk Museum, where exhibits and displays bring to life the island's folklore, traditions, and heritage. Gain insight into the lives of its inhabitants and the events that have shaped the island's identity.

For a truly unique experience, visit the SEA LIFE Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary and Puffin Rescue Centre. Here, you can witness firsthand the conservation efforts dedicated to protecting these beloved marine creatures. 

Explore the fascinating history of Heimaey's volcanic past at the Eldheimar Museum, where interactive exhibits delve into the 1973 eruption of the Eldfell volcano. Gain a deeper understanding of the impact of this catastrophic event on the island and its resilient community.

Venture into the rugged landscapes of the Herjolfsdalur valley, where winding trails lead you through breathtaking scenery and ancient ruins. Marvel at the valley's beauty as you discover its hidden gems.

Whether you're drawn to history, wildlife, or natural treasures, Heimaey Island offers diverse attractions waiting to be explored. Each adds to the island's allure and leaves a lasting impression.

Places to Eat and Stay Near Skansinn Fort

Heimaey Island has many attractions, restaurants, and places to stay.Heimaey has some fantastic places to eat. Try Tanginn restaurant at the port for delicious seafood, steak, salads, soups, and burgers. Krain local restaurant, The Brothers Brewery, and Gott restaurant are on Barustigur road close to Skansinn, giving visitors plenty of choices for meals and drinks.

Those looking for accommodation in Heimaey can check out the beautiful Hotel Vestmannaeyjar. It's on Vestmannabraut road, just around the corner from Gott restaurant, and only 765 yards (700 meters) from Skansinn fort.

Hotel Vestmannaeyjar has bright, spacious rooms, an on-site restaurant, and a wellness center with hot tubs and a sauna.

Guesthouse Hamar is another lovely option near the harbor. It has large rooms with private bathrooms and serves breakfast every day.

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