laugarvatn

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Laugarvatn
Laugarvatn, a village that has grown around a number of schools: a junior college, an intermediate school, The College of Physical Education and an elementary school. Sportsgrounds, steam baths, greenhouses.

This is a geothermal area, and it is said that when Christianity was legalized in the year 1000, the chieftains from the north refused to be baptised in the cold waters of Þingvellir, and were brought to Laugarvatn to be baptised in the warm spring, Vígðalaug ("Consecrated spring").

The bodies of the last Catholic bishop, Jón Arason, and his sons were washed there after they had been beheaded at Skálholt in 1550, and were later taken to Hólar in Skagafjörður for burial.

Three children were baptised in Vígðalaug at the celebrations in 2000 commemorating the conversion of Iceland.

A popular camping area in summer.

Laugarvatnsskógur, expansive forest, combination of birch and planted species. Declared protected in early 20th century.

Laugarvatn, a lake, 2.14 km2, with geothermal heat on the banks and the bottom, mostly shallow and rich in plant-life.