The Njáls saga

Iceland has many historic sagas and its rich and dark heritage is portrayed most comprehensively in an epic portrayal of feuding families namely, Njáls Saga.

The Njal's Saga tapestry at the Saga Centre is a public project, open to everyone to participate. The goal is to sew the main events of the Saga of Njáll in the tapestry.

Njáls saga, also called Njála, or Burnt Njáll, has to be one of the longest and certainly finest 13th-century Icelandic’ sagas. It presents a clear picture of Icelandic life in a heroic and battle-torn age. The Saga has two heroes—Gunnar (Gunther) and Njáll. Gunnar is a brave, guileless, generous youthlike Sigurd (Siegfried) of the heroic legends; Njáll is a wise and prudent man endowed with prophetic gifts. Both are men of peace, but in a society in which the ties of blood impose inescapable obligations, neither Gunnar’s goodwill nor Njáll’s wisdom can save them from their fate.

The characters of the Njáls saga are vividly drawn and range from comic to the sinister. The high tide of Icelandic life is revealed in the meetings of the heroes at the Althing (Parliament) in times of peace and good fortune; but the high price for their unique lifestyles is always hanging heavy over them.

To discover more about the complexities of the events that take place within the Njáls saga, pay a visit to the Saga Centre in Hvolsvöllur. Here you will find a unique exhibition, where Njáls Saga is Introduced in several languages. The exhibition gives an overview of the world of the Sagas, the Viking age and the age of the settlement.

The Saga Centre

In fact, it is here in the Hvolsvöllur region that the Njáls Saga actually took place one thousand years ago. Whilst Visiting the Saga Centre you must also take a little time to discover the The Njáls saga tapestry. A beautiful work of art in the making. The Njáls saga tapestry when complete will be around 90 m long and depict the Njáls saga in a tapestry form using the Bayeux stitch (laid couching work), a special type of stitch that was used in the Viking age.

Guests visiting the Njáls saga tapestry are invited to sew a few stitches and become part of Iceland‘s contemporary history.

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