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01.05.2020

Helgafell

Helgafell ("holy mountain") is a small mountain on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula of Iceland. The mountain is 73 metres (240 ft) high. A temple in honor of Thor (Þór) was built there by Þórólfr Mostrarskegg, the first settler of the area. His biography is described in literary form with fictional and mythical elements in Eyrbyggja saga.

Helgafell also appears in the Laxdæla saga as the location where the heroine Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir last lived and is supposedly where she is buried.

Although quite small, the mountain was so sacred in Saga times that elderly Icelanders would seek it out near the time of their death. Today locals believe that wishes are granted to those who climb the mount.

In the late 10th century, Snorri Goði, a prominent Þor worshipper, converted to Christianity and built a church at the top of the hill; its ruins still remain. The nearby farm of the same name was where the conniving Guðrun Ósvífursdóttir of Laxdæla Saga lived out her later years in isolation. Her grave marks the base of the mount.

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