Ingólfr Arnarson

Ingólfr Arnarson
Ingolf by Raadsig.jpg
Ingolf tager Island i besiddelse by Johan Peter Raadsig (1850)
Bornc. 849
Diedc. 910
Known forFirst permanent Norse settler in Iceland
ChildrenÞorsteinn Ingólfsson (son)
RelativesÖrn Björnólfsson (father); Hjörleifr Hróðmarsson (blood brother)
The famous statue by Einar Jónsson, up on Arnarhóll in Reykjavík
Monument at Ingólfshöfði, the site where Ingólfur is said to have passed his first winter in Iceland

Ingólfr Arnarson, in some sources named Bjǫrnólfsson,[a] (c. 849c. 910) is commonly recognized as the first permanent Norse settler of Iceland, together with his wife Hallveig Fróðadóttir and foster brother Hjörleifr Hróðmarsson. According to tradition, they settled in Reykjavík in 874.[1][2]


Ingólfr Arnarson was from the valley of Rivedal in Sunnfjord in western Norway. According to the Icelandic Book of Settlements, he built his homestead in and gave name to Reykjavík in 874. However, archaeological finds in Iceland suggest settlement may have started somewhat earlier. The medieval chronicler Ari Þorgilsson said Ingólfr was the first Nordic settler in Iceland, but mentioned that Irish monks had been in the country before the Norsemen. He wrote that they left because they did not want to live among the newly arrived Norse pagans.[3]

The Book of Settlements (written two to three centuries after the settlement) contains a story about Ingólfr's arrival. The book claims he left Norway after becoming involved in a blood feud. He had heard about a new island which Garðar Svavarsson, Hrafna-Flóki and others had found in the Atlantic Ocean. With his blood brother Hjörleifr Hróðmarsson, he sailed for Iceland. When land was in sight, he threw his high seat pillars overboard and promised to settle where the gods decided to bring them ashore. Two of his slaves then searched the coasts for three years before finding the pillars in the small bay which eventually became the site of Reykjavík.[4]

In the meantime, Hjörleifr had been murdered by his Irish slaves. Ingólfr hunted them down and killed them in the Westman Islands. The islands got their name from that event, with westmen (Old Norse: vestmenn) being a name that the Norsemen used for the Irish. Ingólfr was said to have settled a large part of southwestern Iceland, although after his settlement nothing more was known of him. His son, Þorsteinn Ingólfsson, was a major chieftain and was said to have founded the Kjalarnesþing, the first thing, or parliament, in Iceland. It was a forerunner of the Althingi.[5]


Statue of Ingólfr Arnarson at Rivedal in Sogn og Fjordane

In 1924, a statue of Ingólfr Arnarson, designed by Icelandic sculptor Einar Jónsson (1874–1954), was erected in Reykjavík. A copy of the statue was erected at Rivedal in 1961.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Old Norse pronunciation: [ˈiŋɡˌoːlvz̠ ˈɑrnˌɑrsˌson], [ˈbjɔrnˌoːlvsˌson].
    In Modern Icelandic: Ingólfur Arnarson [ˈiŋkˌoulvʏr ˈa(r)tnˌar̥sˌsɔːn], Björnólfsson [ˈpjœ(r)tnˌoul(f)sˌsɔːn].
    In Modern Norwegian the first name is spelled either Ingolf or Ingolv; patronym variously as Arnarson, Arnarsson, Arneson, Arnesson or Ørnsson.


  1. ^ "Ingólfur Arnarson - The First Icelander". Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  2. ^ "Ingólfr Arnarson Bjǫrnólfsson Ingolv Ørnsson". Norsk biografisk leksikon. 29 September 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Ingolfr Arnarson". Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  4. ^ Jon Gunnar Jørgensen. "Ingólfr Arnarson Bjǫrnólfsson Ingolv Ørnss". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  5. ^ "Ingólfr Arnarson". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  6. ^ "Statue of Ingolfur Arnarson (Reykjavik, Iceland)". International Travel News. Retrieved November 1, 2019.

External links

Media files used on this page

Reykjavik Standbeeld van Ingolfur Arnarsson, Bestanddeelnr 190-0400.jpg
Author/Creator: Willem van de Poll, Licence: CC0
Collectie / Archief : Fotocollectie Van de Poll

Reportage / Serie : IJsland
Beschrijving : Reykjavik. Standbeeld van Ingolfur Arnarsson
Annotatie : Ingolfur Arnarsson was een Noors stamhoofd die zich als eerste permanent op IJsland vestigde omstreeks 880 n. Chr.
Datum : 1934
Locatie : IJsland, Reykjavik
Trefwoorden : beeldhouwkunst, geschiedenis, standbeelden
Persoonsnaam : Arnarsson, Ingolfur
Fotograaf : Poll, Willem van de, [onbekend]
Auteursrechthebbende : Nationaal Archief
Materiaalsoort : Glasnegatief
Nummer archiefinventaris : bekijk toegang

Bestanddeelnummer : 190-0400
Ingólfr Arnarson monument Einarr Jonsson 1907 1961 Rivedal Dalsfjorden Sunnfjord Sogn og Fjordane 2015-10-14 Distorted panorama cropped 01.jpg
Author/Creator: Wolfmann, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
En kopi av Einarr Jonssons statue av Ingolf Arnarsson fra 1907 ble reist i 1961 i Rivedal ved Holmedal langs Fylkesveg 609 på nordsida av Dalsfjorden i Askvoll kommune i Sogn og Fjordane. Ingolf Arnarsson fra den vesle bygda Rivedal i Sunnfjord regnes som den første norrøne bosetteren på Island.NRK om Ingolfr Arnarson Forvridd, hakkete og sammenpresset panoramabilde 14. oktober 2015.
Ingolf by Raadsig.jpg
The painting depicts Ingólfr Arnarson, the first settler of Iceland, newly arrived in Reykjavík. He appears to be commanding his men, perhaps his slaves, to erect his high seat pillars. Several other people and a dog look on while others are unloading a nearby ship. In the background there are mountains.

At the time the photograph was taken, the painting was on public display in Viðeyjarstofa in Viðey. A plaque explains that it was a gift to the City of Reykjavík from Eimskipafélag Íslands on the occasion of the 200th birthday of Reykjavík (which was in 1986). The plaque does not give any information about the artist but a quick Googling for the signature "P. Raadsig" and "Ingolf" reveals the name of the painting and information about the artist.

The picture was taken under natural lighting with a hand-held digital camera. The right side of the painting was placed closer to a window when the picture was taken. These factors contribute to the mediocre quality of the reproduction.
Iceland 2008-05-27 (2677014699).jpg
Author/Creator: Guillaume Baviere from Uppsala, Sweden, Licence: CC BY 2.0

Island, dag 4. Ingólfshöfði.

Platsen där den första isländska invånare landade...