Njarðvíkurskriður

Landmark in Borgarfjörður Eystri

A habitual site of accidents in ancient times, Njarðvíkurskriður is a dangerous scree slope on Rte 94 near Njarðvík on the way into Borgarfjörður Eystri. All the tragedies were blamed on a nuisance creature (half-man, half-beast), Naddi, who dwelt in a sea-level cave beneath the slope. In the early 1300s, Naddi was exorcised by the proper religious authorities, and in 1306 a cross was erected on the site.

The cross bears the inscription ‘Effigiem Christi qui transis pronus honora, Anno MCCCVI’ – ‘You who are hurrying past, honour the image of Christ – AD 1306’. The idea was that travellers would repeat a prayer when passing the danger zone and therefore be protected from malevolent powers. The cross has been replaced several times since, but the current one still bears the original inscription.