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Thykkvabaearklaustur is presently a church site in the county Alftaver, and was formerly the location of a monastery, which was occupied from its foundation in 1168 to the Reformation in 1550.
One of the monks of this monastery in the 14th century, Eysteinn Asgrimsson, composed the poem „Lilja”, one of Iceland’s most famous medieval devotional poems. A pillar of columnar basalt stands where the monastery is believed to have stood.
The Thykkvabaejar monestary was founded by Klaengur Thorsteinsson, bishop at Skalholt in 1168, and dedicated to the holy Augustus. Most of the monks of this order were ordained priests. They practised discipline and celibacy. Its first abbot was Thorlakur Thorhallsson, later bishop of Skalholt (the southern see) and canonized by pope Johannes Paul II on January 14th 1984 as the protecting saint of Iceland. He was educated by Eyjolfur Saemundarson (Saemundur the learned). Thorlakur was ordained as a priest very young. He also studied in Paris France and Lincoln England. He probably got acquainted with the Augustine order in France. He first became prior and then abbot. The monestary was famous for its religious rites and the celibacy of the brothers. Bishop Pall Jonsson of Skalholt allowed the people of Iceland to pledge in the name of Thorlakur in 1198, and the next year the parliament confirmed his sacredness. Thorlakur was elected bishop of Skalholt in 1174.
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