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In the Icelandic folk tales, Dverghamrar (Dwarf Rocks) is the home of supernatural beings such as dwarfs and elves

David Goran

Iceland is a land that is still being formed because of the intense underground activity. In the past, people turned to science and the Church to understand this situation. Since they found no explanation there, they turned to the supernatural world.

Dwarf cliffs, Iceland. Source

Dwarf cliffs, Iceland. Source

Located just east of Foss á Síðu waterfall and northeast of the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur, there are two peculiar and very beautiful formations of columnar basalt. On top of the columns, there is a cube-jointed basalt and the landscape is thought to have been molded at the end of the Ace Age. Because of the higher sea level at that time, it is believed that the peculiar look of the rocks was caused by the waves.

Such columns are often found where lava has flowed into water and been abruptly cooled. Source

Such columns are often found where lava has flowed into the water and been abruptly cooled. Source

Stopped by cold sea water, the bubbling hot lava condensed and the surface of the formation started cracking. Cracks then form horizontally and the extensive fracture network that develops results in the six-sided formation of the columns. When something like this happens, it attracts tourists from all over the world.

Dwarf house. Source

Dwarf house. Source

The name, Dverghamrar or Dwarf rocks refers to the many creatures that inhabit the Nordic legends, such as dwarfs and elves. These are the famous dwarf cliffs from the Sagnir fairytales.

The name Dverghamrar refers to the dwarfs, elves and hidden people that reside here. Source

The name Dverghamrar refers to the dwarfs, elves and hidden people that reside here. Source

 

In 1904 a young girl named Olaffa, who was living in a nearby farmhouse, heard a song coming from Dverghamrar. The girl looked around but couldn’t find anyone. She kept hearing the singing but the place was always completely empty. Icelanders believe that the dwarfs are Christian and they call them ‘Light Elves’ because, as the folktale goes, the girl was hearing a Christian hymn about ‘The Father in Heaven’.
The dwarf city. Source

The dwarf city. Source

One of the best mediums in Iceland, who is well-known for seeing all kinds of hidden people, has made a drawing of the dwarfs and you can see her drawing by the information sign.

Information sign of Dverghamrar. Source

Information sign of Dverghamrar. Source

Iceland is a very mystical place, its legends, its people, its landscape, all make for a unique experience. It is widely known as “The Land of Fire and Ice”, but truly Iceland escapes definition. Among the rocks, the caves and the cliffs of this island lay ancient magic, and there are a lot of mystical creatures who live there. Dwarf cliffs are just one of the many places where these Iceland’s ‘hidden people’ live.