Njáls Saga Tapestry in Hvolsvöllur - Hotel Rangá


Women sew a traditional Icelandic tapestry covered with scenes from Njál's saga.

Njáls Saga Tapestry in Hvolsvöllur

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.



Women sewing a tapestry depicting 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 or Burnt Njáll

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 youth like 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.

Wall art at hotel rangá deluxe room
The artist that decorated this deluxe room at our hotel was inspired by the saga of Njall. This is the character Hallgerdur.

The characters of the Njáls saga are vivid and true to life, ranging from the comic to the sinister. The high tide of Icelandic life can be seen in the meetings of the heroes at the Alþingi (Parliament) in times of peace and good fortune. However, 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 is a unique exhibition with information about Njáls Saga 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

History Outside Our Doorstep

In fact, it is here in the Hvolsvöllur region that Njáls Saga actually took place one thousand years ago. While visiting the Saga Centre, stop and discover the the Njáls Saga tapestry. This is a beautiful work of art that completed by community members and guests 2019. The tapestry is around 90 m long with images from Njáls Saga using the Bayeux stitch (laid couching work). This is a special type of stitch dating back to the Viking age.

The viking in room 34. We have teamed up with local artists to decorate our rooms. Read more at Art at Hotel Rangá.

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