holar

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Hólar in Hjaltadalur
Hólar í Hjaltadal is the most important historical site in northern Iceland. People in the North still speak of traveling "home" to Hólar.

It was a bishopric 1106-1798, and again from 1986. It was a cathedral college in the years 1106-1802 and a printing press from 1524-1800. It has been the seat of many famous bishops, e.g. Jón Ögmundarson, 1106-21, Jón Arason 1524-50, the last Catholic Bishop in Iceland, and Guðbrandur Þorláksson 1571-1627, whose printing of the first Icelandic Bible was crucial to the preservation of the language.

The cathedral, the oldest stone church in Iceland, is built of red sandstone from the mountain Hólabyrða, was consecrated in 1763 and re-consecrated 1988 after extensive renovation.

Many ancient relics can be found there. A turf farmhouse near the top of the field, built in 1860, has been in the care of the National Museum since 1956. Auðnasrstofa, reconstruction of a house built in Hólar in early 14th century wich lasted for 500 years.

A traditional Norwegian log-stave house with turf roof. Bishop's office houses a collection of old books printed in Hólar and some of the Cathedral's treasures. Archeological research is being carried out at Hólar and in Kolkuós, the old harbor.

An extensive program of concerts and church services is held throughout the summer, culminating in the Hólar festival mid August. An agricultural college was established at Hólar in 1882 which was the foundation of the present University College, specializing in equine science, rural tourism, aquatic science, archeology and cultural heritage.