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Snorri“s bath

According to Landnįmabók a hot water bath was in use at Reykholt already in the 10th century. Based on documentary sources there were no residents at Reykholt at that date, the only buildings being some sheep sheds belonging to a nearby farm. In the 13th century Reykholt had become a church property and the home of the historiographer Snorri Sturluson (1178-1241). In Sturlungasaga the hot water bath is mentioned several times. A passage pictures Snorri himself in it one evening, chatting with friends. The basin bears his name and is called Snorralaug (Snorri“s bath). Snorralaug is one of ten archaeological remains which were the first ones to be listed in Iceland in 1817.

 

 

 

 

The basin is constructed entirely of hewn stones of "hveragrjót" (silica sinter). The bath is approximately 4 m. in diameter and 0.7-1.0 m. deep. Three steps are leading into the bath and  a circular rim, a kind of a bench, is along the walls. 

Thermal water from the hot spring Skrifla is led to the bath through a conduit. Caution must be taken as the water in the basin can be extremely hot at times. By the intake conduit there is a stone with the initials V.Th. 1858. The initials were cut in 1858 when Snorralaug was restored on the initiative of pastor Vernharšur Žorkelsson.

 

A passage is said to have connected Snorri“s farm and the bath. In 1930, when building the school, the passage was discovered. The house covering the passage is not intended to show how the medieval passage was constructed.  It“s sole purpose is to preserve the remains.