Welcome to Skálholt
An important religious centre, Skálholt was one of two bishoprics (the other was Hólar in the north) that ruled Iceland’s souls from the 11th to the 18th centuries. It rose to prominence under Gissur the White, the driving force behind the Christianisation of Iceland. The Catholic bishopric lasted until the Reformation in 1550, when Bishop Jón Arason and his two sons were executed by order of the Danish king. Skalhólt continued as a Lutheran centre until 1797, when the bishopric shifted to Reykjavík. Skálholt's original church no longer stands – a modern version sits in its place – but visitors can learn more about the sight's significance at the museum here. But other than to visit a small petting zoo, there's no other reason to stop in Skálholt.