‘Holavallagardur cemetery, Reykjavik, Iceland’ by K.J.S.Chatrath

I visited the Holavallagardur cemetery in Reykjavik, Iceland in June 2012. It is the largest Icelandic cemetery, dating from the 19th century, and is managed by KGRP (Capital Area Cemeteries Management Committee). This Committee was set up in 1998 to promote its preservation and to manage repairs and changes.The cemetery was established in 1839 and was used till mid 1900’s.

p1330394-380-50The matrix of the cemetery.

This cemetery is the only forested part of Reykjavik.


The most famous resident of this cemetery is Jon Sigurdsson, who was the leader of Iceland’s independence movement.


Sigurdur Jonsson’s grave.


The monuments in the cemetery are generally the works of known Nordic artists and tradesmen or monuments with reliefs executed by them.



In 2004 some of the primary schools in Reykjavik entered into an agreement with KGRP, allowing the cemetery to become the local wooded area for the pupils and teachers. The cemetery contains about two hundred kinds of tree, bush and perennial plants and it is the oldest preserved grove in the old part of Reykjavik.



Rather unusual-pillars on two graves made of shining stainless steel.


Just a stone can be as expressive of the loss and its rememberance…

p1330396-380-50A metallic disc on a tree stump- quite original.


I was told that in Reykjavik’s long winters the area looks all white, but it was bright with lovely colourful flowers blooming during my visit in the month of June.  p1330397-380-50

All  Rest in Peace!

I would surely recommend a quiet reflective walk in this cemetery to all the fifty plus travellers.

(Text with inputs from the internet)

Photos, text and copyright K.J.S.Chatrath

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