Step Back Into 17th Century Iceland at the Gröf Turf Church
You want to get away from the craziness of the 21st century? Well, who doesn´t?
Guess what, I know the perfect place for that.
One of the most memorable place that I have visited in my home country of Iceland is the small 17th century turf chapel at Gröf near the village of Hofsós in the North West. We had been driving for ages and it was rainy and overcast. We had a guide book with that mentioned the old church at Gröf but as I said it had been raining and we were tired from all the driving. But we decided to stop anyway and check out this old church. It couldn´t take that long time. We stopped the car and started walking and it took a while in the rain. I got my feet wet on the tall wet grass and felt a bit annoyed.
The annoyance melted away when I reached the church. It was totally quiet and as that tired old phrase goes it was like stepping back in time. It is an unassuming relic of a rural poor pious Iceland with its strict unforgoving morality that seems downright weird these days.
I took a few pictures as an afterthought but it has to be said I am not happy with them. They don´t do the place justice.
For those who are history minded, here are the main facts about the turf chapel at Gröf. It was built by the Gísli Þorláksson, bishop of Hólar in the late 17th century. Many believe that the intricate wood carvings in the church are made by a well-known 17th century wood carving Guðmundur Guðmundsson. It was taken out of use in 1765 but was restored to its original look around 1950. It stands in the center of the ancient circular graveyard that is demarcated with a turf wall.
How to get there:
From the village of Hofsós drive a few kilometers north until you reach the farm of Gröf. Park your car and proceed on foot until you find the chapel.
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