Saelingsdalur Valley, District Dalir, is well vegetated and sheltered between low mountains and stretches toward northwest from the end of the Hvammsfjordur Bay. Farm Saelingsdalstunga is an ancient manor at the foot of Mt Tungumuli and a former church site (until 1853).
According to one of the most interesting Sagas, Laxdaela, the chieftain Snorri Godi, who lived there, changed abodes with Gudrun Osvifursdottir, who lived at Helgafell. Snorri had a church built before he moved. This change took place after two of the leading personalities of the Laxdaela Saga, Bolli Thorleiksson and Kjartan Olafsson, had been killed. First Bolli killed Kjartan and then he was killed for revenge. The descendants of lawman Sturla Thordarson later lived at “Tunga” for centuries.
Tungustapi is a large rocky mound down by the river on the property. The popular belief has it, that it is the cathedral and bishopric of the elves, and one of the most impressive legends about them takes place there.
Farm Saelingsdalslaug, or Laugar, was the abode of Osvifur Helgason, Gudrun’s father. Two hot springs (60°C) appear at the foot of the nearby mountain. One of them was and is used for the heating of the boarding school, swimming pools and other buildings in the valley. An old pipeline made of stone, almost hidden under the scree, might confirm the existence of an ancient pool referred to in the Sagas. The school building houses the Folk Museum of the area and was used as a summer hotel.
Photo Credit: Visit West Iceland