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HomeIceland TravelBarbörukapella - the Chapel of Barbara in Kapelluhraun in Hafnarfjörður SW-Iceland

Barbörukapella – the Chapel of Barbara in Kapelluhraun in Hafnarfjörður SW-Iceland

In my final travel-blogs I’ve proven you many church buildings in Iceland and advised you about folklore and tales associated to those church buildings, like the votive Strandarkirkja church.

However do you know in regards to the chapel within the Kapelluhraun lava subject, Barbörukapella – the Chapel of Barbara within the Nice-Reykjavíok space?

Prime photograph: Standing by the doorway to Barbörukapella chapel

Barbörukapella chapel is reverse the street from the aluminum smelter – previous meets new

The reconstruction of the previous chapel is positioned on the highest of a lava hill, reverse the ISAL aluminum smelter in Straumsvíok by the busy street Reykjanesbraut, the one which leads from the airport in Keflavíok. 

All people who drives to and from the airport by way of Reykjanesbraut street passes by the chapel within the lava, so hold a watch out for it once you see the aluminum smelter.

The chapel blends in with the lava and never many individuals give this chapel a second. However as soon as about it then you definitely can’t go it with out searching for it within the lava.

Barbörukapella and the knowledge signal

This previous chapel appears should have been a shelter in unhealthy climate for these travelling on the Alfaraleið – the thoroughfare within the Nýjahraun – Kapelluhraun lava subject. Contained in the chapel, they might pray but additionally make a hearth to maintain heat and to prepare dinner meals.

It’s believed that this path was made shortly after the volcanic eruption again within the twelfth century, as quickly because the lava cooled down sufficiently, and you’ll nonetheless see a small a part of the 1.5 m broad street by Barbörukapella.

It’s in your right-hand facet in the event you stand in entrance of the doorway to the reconstructed lava chapel.

A reproduction of the clay statue inside Barbörukapella 

Kristján Eldjárn, the Director of the Nationwide Museum, and later the President of Iceland, excavated the ruins of the chapel in 1950.

He and his coworkers discovered a number of objects, together with a small clay statue of St. Barbara holding her signature tower, most definitely made in Utrecht in Holland, however that’s solely a guess as many such statues got here from Utrecht.

I took a photograph of the unique statue of Barbara on the knowledge signal

The unique statue is within the possession of Þjóðminjasafn Íslands – the Nationwide Museum of Iceland.

I visited the museum to take a look on the statue however it’s, sadly, not on show. So I embrace a photograph of it which I took of the knowledge signal by Barbörukapella chapel.

You can too see a photograph of it at Sarpur

Visiting Barbörukapella within the snow – I get stuffed with serenity after I see the statue

The chapel was again then in untouched lava, a bit sunken into the lava, however this space has modified fairly a bit.. The chapel shouldn’t be massive, 2.40 m in size and 2.10-2.20 m in width.

The peak on the within ranges from 0.95 – 1.8 meters. And the partitions are 1 meter thick. Components of it had collapsed and lots of stones had fallen into the chapel when Kristján excavated it.

Kristján Eldjárn believed that the chapel was in a sq. form judging from the ground, however it was later rebuilt in an oval form.

Right here we’re speaking in regards to the authentic chapel about which Kristján Eldjárn wrote a really detailed description in Árbóok hins íslenska fornleifafélag and from which I get plenty of the knowledge for this travel-blog.

Candles by the statue

The chapel was most definitely used within the Catholic interval of Iceland (till 1550) advert a clay pipe was discovered so it may need been used as a shelter till at the very least the seventeenth century. And

The chapel was reconstructed by Catholics within the late twentieth century and the statue of Barbara was positioned contained in the chapel.

I learn that the administration of the ÍSAL aluminum smelter financed the set up of the brand new statue within the chapel.

The statue is so beautiful and really small, solely 3.3 cm. It’s not intact as solely the higher a part of it was present in 3 items, however initially it might have been 5.5 cm.

The statue of Barbara within the snow

The bronze reproduction is a bit of bit larger, made to the liking of the previous statue from photographs of the unique statue. It was made by Walter Mellmann from Osnabruck in Germany – 4.12.1981 is written on a small plaque by the statue. 

It’s so beautiful visiting the chapel and kneeling by the small statue of Barbara. There’s something so very holy about this open chapel made out of lava rocks, proper subsequent to a busy street.

Typically I see candles and lanterns by the statue, so it’s apparent that individuals come right here to wish and make a pledge to St. Barbara.

The statue of Barbara up shut – it’s so beautiful

The state faith in Iceland is Lutheran, so I suppose that it should be Catholics who primarily come right here to wish. Not that there’s any distinction, however we haven’t any statues of saints in our church buildings. I say a prayer right here every time I cease by the chapel.

Folks would make a pledge to St. Barbara f.ex. in opposition to fireplace and explosions, in order that could be the rationale for putting her in a chapel in a lava subject.

Possibly to ask her to stop one other calamity on this space, as who desires a large scorching lava movement speeding of their path? There are such a lot of lava fields in Iceland and who is aware of what lies hidden beneath them?

Kapelluhraun – plenty of the lava has been eliminated

Nýjahraun or Bruninn lava subject stems from a volcanic eruption in a row of craters by Undirhlíðar again within the twelfth century. Or at the very least after the age of settlement in Iceland, seeing that it was known as Nýjahraun which means the New lava subject.

It was talked about in an previous annal that within the 12 months 1343 a ship had been stranded by Nýjahraun.  And this lava subject is talked about within the 2nd  and seventeenth chapters of Kjalnesinga saga.

The lava by the chapel known as Kapelluhran – the Chapel lava subject.

Barbörukapella is stacked with lava from the lava subject

Numerous the lava has been eliminated for the foundations of buildings within the Nice-Reykjavíok space, for street building, and when the aluminum smelter was being inbuilt 1969.

So this space has modified fairly a bit since Kristján Eldjárn was analyzing the stays of the chapel. Thank God that the bulldozers did not take away the stays of the chapel, earlier than it was preserved.

The volcanic eruption in Geldingadalir in 2021

Now the Reykjanesskagi peninsula has turn into alive once more, after having been dormant for a lot of centuries, so we who dwell right here within the southwest nook of Iceland, have began worrying {that a} volcanic eruption could be too near dwelling.

The final eruption on the Reykjanesskagi peninsula was in 2021, and we’re nonetheless experiencing earthquakes which could be felt in Reykjavíok, the place I dwell:

The Volcanic Eruption in Mt. Fagradalsfjall and Geldingadalir in SW-Iceland

A Helicopter Experience to the Volcanic Eruption in Mt. Fagradalsfjall in SW-Iceland

The yellow signal from the Director of the Nationwide museum – preserved antiquities

Kristján Eldjárn declared this web site protected after analyzing it and the yellow signal above was positioned by it.

You may see this signal in lots of locations in Iceland by protected websites and preserved antiquities as I’ve f.ex. present you in my travel-blog: Viking Ruins and Burial Mounds I’ve visited on my travels in Iceland.

Barbörukapella was rebuilt after it had been examined, however the lengthy collapsed roof was omitted. The door opening is on the west facet based on custom, i.e. our church buildings face east, however the church doorways are on their west facet.

One of many info indicators by Barbörukapella

St. Barbara was additionally the patron saint for seafarers and travellers. And I’ve learn that she was additionally the patron saint for miners and founders. And he or she was amongst the patron saints of Haukadalskirkja church and Reykholtskirkja church.

Bishop Jón Arason at Hólar additionally had a picture of St. Barbara stitched in his choir cope. I let you know about Jón Arason a bit of later on this travel-blog.

Beneath is a photograph I took again in the summertime of 2010 of the choir cope of Jón Arason in Hóladómkirkja cathedral.

The choir cope of Jón Arason at Hólar – St. Barbara is within the center to the left 

That is what Þjóðsögur Jóns Árnasonar – the Assortment of Folklore by Jón Árnason says in regards to the Kapelluhraun lava subject – Quantity II, web page 78:

“In Gullbringusýsla county a big lava subject is to be discovered between Hafnarfjörður and Vatnsleysuströnd. An element of the lava subject known as Kapelluhraun. It will get its identify from a chapel within the lava.

Barbörukapella chapel

The chapel is on the north facet of the street, stacked with lava rocks within the form of a “borg” (right here you may see photographs of what we name “borghlaðið”).

The doorways should have confronted south, however now they’re stuffed with dust and moss. The north a part of the chapel is larger up than the south half (right here Jón Árnason is speaking in regards to the authentic chapel).

The story goes that within the chapel is buried one of many procurators who have been earlier on at Bessastaðir. He was attacked within the lava subject, killed, and buried right here.”

(Translated into English from Þjóðsögur Jóns Árnasonar).

The gravel street resulting in the chapel

What Jón Árnason is referring to has to do with the execution of Catholic Bishop Jón Arason and his 2 sons again in 1550.

Right here the folklore tells us that one of many males of Kristján skrifari, the envoy of the Danish Governor at Bessastaðir, was killed right here and buried within the chapel.

Norðlendingar – the Northerners in 1551 killed many males to revenge for the homicide of the Catholic bishop at Hólar in Hjaltadalur in North Iceland and his 2 sons.

There have been no indicators of graves by the chapel although when Kristján Eldjárn examined the chapel in 1950 or 400 years later.

By Barbörukapella chapel within the wintertime

Many males have been killed right here at Suðurnes to revenge for this atrocity, the beheading of the bishop and his 2 sons, together with Kristján skrifari who was answerable for the beheadings.

He had been visiting Kirkjuból farm at Miðnes together with his males and the Northerners killed him there. 

The lads who had been killed at Kirkjuból have been buried by the farm. The story goes that the physique of Kristján skrifari was moved to Bessastaðir and that they may have saved it in a single day within the Barbörukapella chapel.

Draughóll – Ghost mound at Garður

The opposite males who had been killed at Kirkjuból began looking the residing (there are lots of such tales in the Icelandic Sagas, that are a lot older than these occasions).

What to do when this occurs – exhume the our bodies, lower off their heads, and put their nostril ahead at their buttocks. That may cease them!

We went to Garður and Kirkjuból to see the areas of those occasions and located this rock with the signal Draughóll – Ghost mound. We should return and discover some ruins at Kirkjuból. We weren’t certain what they regarded like once we visited this location.

Straumur reverse the street from the chapel as seen from a helicopter

The next 12 months, the killings at Kirkjuból farm and the abuse finished to the corpses have been revenged and the farmer at Kirkjuból was beheaded at Straumur for allegedly serving to the Northerners enter his farm.

There are some actually grotesque particulars relating to these killings however I’ll spare you the gory particulars, as on this travel-blog I’m specializing in the Barbörukapella chapel.

The chapel and the aluminum smelter within the background

Now, again to trendy occasions. The aluminum smelter had plans for enlargement, however there may be not a lot room for enlargement because the street can’t be moved on this location as Barbörukapella chapel is preserved.

One other a lot youthful statue of St. Barbara was found within the ruins of Skriðuklaustur in East Iceland – under can see a photograph I took of it when it was on show on the Nationwide Museum: Skriðuklaustur and the Archaeological Excavations in East Iceland.

A statuette of St. Barbara discovered at Skriðuklaustur in East Iceland

Kristján Eldjárn mentioned that the chapel in Kapelluhraun may very well be in contrast with the chapel on prime of Mt. Helgafell on the Snæfellsnes peninsula: The Holy Mt. Helgafell on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula & the three Needs. And that in Christian international locations small chapels like this one courting again to the center ages could be discovered by the street.

He additionally mentions that generally crosses have been erected by which individuals may pray, just like the one I wrote about in my travel-blog: Njarðvíkurskriður Screes and the Monster Naddi in East-Iceland – Icelandic Folklore.

Hafnarfjörður – the City of Elves

Barbörukapella chapel stands alone within the lava south of the city Hafnarfjörður and it’s nicely value a go to. And shut by is Straumur the place photographers like to take photographs.

Hafnarfjörður city is called the City of Elves as you may see from the signal above, which I zoomed in on from Barbörukapella chapel.

Additionally it is referred to as the City within the Lava as it’s constructed on a lava subject. And the Viking city as right here you will see the Viking Village and the annual Viking Competition is held in Hafnarfjörður city: The Annual Viking Competition in Hafnarfjörður City in Iceland.

One of many info indicators by Barbörukapella

Barbörukapella chapel shouldn’t be marked on Google maps, however Barböruvegur street is marked and results in the chapel.

You may see the chapel a bit of to the best on the map.

Sources and additional studying (in Icelandic):

Kapelluhraun – Þjóðsögur Jóns Árnasonar II, web page 78.

Hraunavinir – Kapellan í Kapelluhrauni

Fjarðarfréttir – Kapellan í Kapelluhrauni

Árbóok his inslenska fornleifafélags 1955 – Kapelluhraun og Kapellulág – Kristján Eldjárn

Árbóok hins íslenska fornleifafélags – af heilagri Barböru og uppruna hennar

Ferlir – Kapellan í Kapelluhrauni

Ferlir – Kapellan í Hrauninu og Heilög Barbara

Ferlir – Hálshögg í Straumi

Ferlir – Aftaka Jóns biskups Arasonar og atburðir á Suðurnesjum

Ferlir – Bænhús og kirkjur





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