Located some 130 km from Akureyri, Hólar comes into bloom in summer with a variety of
concerts held in Hólar Cathedral every weekend. The musical weekends include performances by small ensemble classical artists, recitals by up and coming Icelandic singers, as well as popular music and song. Also found at Hólar are many interesting historical and natural treasures which are well worth seeing, such as:
● Hólaskóli, the main building housing a permanent exhibition of the Bishops of Hólar.
● Auðun’s House, a replica of the original house of the Norwegian, Auðun the Red, bishop of Hólar from 1313 to 1322.
● Nýibær, a fine example of a 19th century North Iceland turf house.
● Hólaskógur (the wood) – a lovely place for walks. Follow the signs, for example, up to Gvendarskál (the rock-ledge half-way up the Hólabyrða mountain), or just take a random hike and see where it leads you.
● New at Hólar is the recently-opened Museum of the Icelandic Horse. Under the auspices of the Icelandic Horse History Centre, it presents an informative exhibit, open from 1st June to 15th September.
Fast becoming a popular tourist destination, Hólar also maintains its own year-round tourist service providing accommodation for guests including apartments, cottages and a camping site in a peaceful forest setting. The university restaurant is open to the public and is known for its innovative cuisine based on local ingredients. Freshly caught Arctic char spiced with local herbs is a specialty as is their delightfully refreshing summer angelica soup.
Once the capital of northern Iceland, Hólar in Hjaltadalur is one of the most important historical
and architectural sites in Iceland. Its presence dates back to 1106 when it was established as one of two Episcopal sees (the other being in Skalholt in the south). Over seven centuries, Hólar was home to no less than 36 bishops, many of whom made their own unique contributions to the wealth of cultural and educational heritage found at Hólar. The original cathedral school, built in 1106 continued as a centre for education until 1801. In 1882, the school was revived as a prominent College of Agriculture, attracting students from all over Iceland. Today, Hólar is a modern university, granting undergraduate degrees in three highly specialised fields: equine science, aquaculture and fish biology, and rural tourism.
More recently, Hólar has been the site of an exciting archaeological excavation. Unearthing more than 40,000 artifacts from past ages, the project will undoubtedly help to shed more light on this fascinating place. Guests can visit the archaeological excavation site and an exhibit devoted to the archaeological finds in the school building.
For more information please see the following websites:
www.holar.is (->general information->holar->tourist information)
+354 455 6333, +354 849 6348
www.sogusetur.is (website for the Museum of the Icelandic Horse)