Spákonufell Mountain

Friday, May 23rd

Led by Halldór, Roshni and Sybille, two other NES artists and myself set off to climb Spákonufell, the curiously squared-top mountain rising just above Skagastrond. Thanks to the long days in May, we could start the hike at 6pm and came back around 10pm still with daylight.

Spákonufell means Soothsayers Mountain an is 646 m high. Its name is connected with the farm Spákonufell, which for centuries was located at the foothill of Spákonufell Mountain. The name’s origins can be traced back to the 10th century when Þórdís the soothsayer, said to be skilled in both magic and magical arts, lived on the farm Fell.

Vatnsdælasaga (Saga of Vatnsdælir) describes her as a great and intelligent woman. Later both the farm and the mountain Spákonufell were named after her. Þórdís was among other things known for fostering Iceland’s first missionary, Porvaldur Koránsson, later named Þorvaldur víförli (Þorvaldur the travelled). He was described as a healthy and brave champ who earned the respect of heathens, which enabled him to work on evangelisation in Iceland from 981 – 986;

Pórdís the soothsayer

For just over one thousand years ago, Pórdís the soothsayer took her daily walk up to Spákonufell Mountain, where she combed her hair with a special gold comb. Her farm, Fell, stood at the foothill where Skagaströnd’s cemetery is now situated. It is said that when Þórdís knew that she didn’t have long to live, she took a treasure chest up to Spákonufell and placed it on a ledge just in front of the mountain’s upmost rock, Spákonufellsborg (Spákonufells Rock). She announced that, a woman
who in her upbringing had not been baptised in the name of holy trinity or any other of God’s titles would get the chest and its treasure. Such a woman has not been found yet, so it’s very likely that the chest is still there.

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