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the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhrau…


Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

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

However do you know concerning the chapel within the Kapelluhraun lava area within the Nice-Reykjavík space? It’s referred to as  Barbörukapella – the Chapel of St. Barbara and we don’t know how previous it’s.

High picture: Standing by the doorway to Barbörukapella chapel

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

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

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

All people who drives to and from the airport by way of Reykjanesbraut street passes by the chapel within the lava, so preserve an eye fixed out for it if you see the aluminum smelter.

The chapel is manufactured from lava so it blends in with the lava area and never many individuals give this chapel a second look. However as soon as you realize about it you then can not move it with out on the lookout for it within the lava.

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

Barbörukapella and the data signal

This previous chapel appears will need to have been each a chapel and a shelter in dangerous climate for these travelling on the Alfaraleið – the thoroughfare within the Nýjahraun – Kapelluhraun lava area. Contained in the chapel, folks may pray but additionally make a fireplace to maintain heat and to prepare dinner meals.

It’s believed that this street by way of the lava was made shortly after the volcanic eruption again within the twelfth century, as quickly because the lava cooled down sufficiently. 

You possibly can nonetheless see a small a part of the 1.5 m extensive street by Barbörukapella. It’s in your right-hand facet in case you stand in entrance of the doorway to the reconstructed lava chapel.

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

A duplicate of the clay statue inside Barbörukapella 

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

He and his coworkers discovered a number of items of objects on the ground of the chapel, a damaged piece of a pearl manufactured from amber, damaged items of a clay pot, brass objects, items of horseshoes, a number of damaged nails, and items of iron. And part of a clay pipe.

Probably the most outstanding object they discovered was a small clay statue of St. Barbara holding her signature tower.Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

I took a photograph of the unique statue of Barbara on the data signal as I could not discover the statue on the museum

The statue was most probably made in Utrecht in Holland, however that’s solely a guess as many such statues got here from Utrecht.

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 data signal by Barbörukapella chapel.

You may also see a photograph of the statue at Sarpur

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

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

The chapel was again then in a comparatively untouched lava area, a bit sunken into the lava, however this space has modified fairly a bit since Kristján examined the chapel. 

The chapel will not be large, 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.

The partitions of the chapel are 1 meter thick. Elements of the chapel had collapsed and lots of stones had fallen into the chapel when Kristján excavated it.

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

Barbörukapella 

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

Right here we’re speaking concerning the unique chapel about which Kristján Eldjárn wrote a really detailed description in Árbók hins íslenska fornleifafélag and from which I bought excellent data for this travel-blog.

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

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

Candles by the statue

The chapel was reconstructed by Catholics within the late twentieth century and the statue of St. 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 that Kristján discovered within the chapel is very small, solely 3.3 cm. It was not intact as solely the higher a part of it was present in 3 items, however initially it will have been 5.5 cm.Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

The statue of St. Barbara within the snow

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

It’s so pretty visiting the chapel and kneeling by the small statue of St. Barbara. There’s something so very holy about this open chapel made out of lava rocks in the course of a lava area. Simply ignore the aluminum smelter and the busy street.

Typically I see candles and lanterns by the statue, so it’s apparent that individuals come right here to hope and make a pledge to St. Barbara.Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

The statue of St. Barbara up shut – is not it pretty?

The state faith in Iceland is Lutheran, so I suppose that it should be Catholics who primarily come right here to hope. Not that there’s any distinction, however we have no statues of saints in our church buildings. I say a prayer right here at any time when I cease by the chapel.

Individuals would make a pledge to St. Barbara f.ex. in opposition to hearth and explosions, in order that may be the explanation for putting her in a chapel in a lava area.

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

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

Kapelluhraun – loads of the lava has been eliminated

Nýjahraun or Bruninn lava area stems from a volcanic eruption in a row of craters by Undirhlíðar on the Reykjanesskagi peninsula 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 area.

It was talked about in an previous annal that within the yr 1343 a ship had been stranded by Nýjahraun.  And this lava area is talked about within the 2nd  and seventeenth chapters of Kjalnesinga saga.Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

Barbörukapella is stacked with lava from the lava area

The lava area by the chapel is known as Kapelluhran – the Chapel lava area.

Plenty of the lava has been eliminated for the foundations of buildings within the Nice-Reykjavík space, for street building, and when the aluminum smelter was being in-built 1969.

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

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

The volcanic eruption in Geldingadalir in 2021

Now the Reykjanesskagi peninsula has turn out to be alive once more, after having been dormant for a lot of centuries, so we who stay right here within the southwest nook of Iceland, have began worrying {that a} volcano may erupt too near house.

The final eruption on the Reykjanesskagi peninsula was in 2021, and we’re nonetheless experiencing earthquakes which may be felt in Reykjavík, the place I stay.

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

The volcanic eruption in 2021 on the Reykjanesskagi peninsula

I’ve written 2 travel-blogs about this newest volcanic eruption on the Reykjanesskagi peninsula:

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

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

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

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

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

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

You possibly can see this signal in lots of locations in Iceland by protected websites and preserved antiquities as I’ve f.ex. proven you in my travel-blog: Viking Ruins and Burial Mounds I’ve visited on my travels in Iceland.Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

One of many data indicators by Barbörukapella – this one Hafnarfjörður city and Byggðasafn Hafnarfjarðar erected

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 little bit later on this travel-blog.

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

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

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 concerning the Kapelluhraun lava area – Quantity II, web page 78:

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

The chapel is on the north facet of the street, stacked with lava rocks within the form of a “borg” (right here you’ll be able to see pictures of what we name “borghlaðið”).

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

Barbörukapella chapel

The doorways will need to have confronted south, however now they’re crammed with dust and moss. The north a part of the chapel is greater up than the south half.

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

(Translated into English from Þjóðsögur Jóns Árnasonar – the Assortment of Folklore by Jón Árnason).

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

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 Jón Arason 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.

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

By Barbörukapella chapel within the wintertime

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

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

The boys who had been killed at Kirkjuból had 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.

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

Draughóll – Ghost mound at Garður

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

What to do when this occurs? Exhume the our bodies, minimize off their heads, and put their nostril ahead at their buttocks. That can 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 positive what to search for after we visited this location.

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

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

The next yr, the killings at Kirkjuból farm and the abuse carried out to the corpses was revenged and the farmer at Kirkjuból was beheaded at Straumur for allegedly serving to the Northerners enter his farm.

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

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

The chapel and the aluminum smelter within the background

Now, again to fashionable instances. The aluminum smelter had plans for growth, however there may be not a lot room for growth as Barbörukapella chapel is preserved.

Kristján Eldjárn mentioned that the chapel in Kapelluhraun might be in contrast with the chapel on high 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 may be discovered by the street.

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

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

Kristján additionally mentions that typically crosses had 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.

One other statue of St. Barbara was found within the ruins of Skriðuklaustur, an Augustinian monastery, in East Iceland – above you can see a photograph I took of the statue when it was on show on the Nationwide Museum.

I wrote one other travel-blog about Skriðuklaustur and the Archaeological Excavations in East Iceland, if you’re excited about seeing the environment during which the statue was discovered.

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

Hafnarfjörður – the City of Elves

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

Hafnarfjörður city is named the City of Elves as you’ll be able to see from the signal above, which I zoomed in on from Barbörukapella chapel.

It is usually often known as the City within the Lava as it’s constructed on a lava area. And the Viking city as right here you’ll find the Viking Village and the annual Viking Competition is held in Hafnarfjörður city: The Annual Viking Competition in Hafnarfjörður City in Iceland.

Barbörukapella - the Chapel of St. Barbara in Kapelluhraun in SW-Iceland

One of many data indicators by Barbörukapella – erected by Þjóðminjasafn Íslands

Barbörukapella chapel will not be marked on Google maps, however Barböruvegur street is marked and results in the chapel.

You possibly can see the chapel a little bit to the correct on the map, it appears to be like like a black mass.

https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d1714.5060380314917!2nd-22.032589083447785!3d64.04282576625347!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x48d60e7f989b4913percent3A0x64474055fed9ca43!2zQmFyYsO2cnV2ZWd1ciwgSGFmbmFyZmrDtnLDsHVy!5e1!3m2!1sen!2sis!4v1651768937791!5m2!1sen!2sis

Sources and additional studying (in Icelandic):

Kapelluhraun – Þjóðsögur Jóns Árnasonar II, web page 78.

Hraunavinir – Kapellan í Kapelluhrauni

Fjarðarfréttir – Kapellan í Kapelluhrauni

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

Árbók 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

Kjalnesingasaga

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