Iceland – Skálholt and Hólar
Skalholt is one of the most notable historical sites in Iceland. No less than 44 bishops served at Skalholt, 31 Catholics and 13 Lutherans, until the episcopal residence and school were transferred to Reykjavík around 1800.
Many historic events took place in Skálholt, one of the most dramatic being the the execution of the last catholic bishop, Jón Arason, and his sons. For centuries Skálholt was a great cultural centre and a site of learning. In 1949 a society was formed to rebuild Skálholt and the church was consecrated in 1963. Many precious objects are preserved in Skálholt and some of them are shown on the stamp. Kristjan Valur Ingólfsson is the suffragan bishop of the Skálholt bishopry.
The Hólar Cathedral is located at Hólar in Hjaltadalur. The Hólar bishopry was established in 1106 when the people in Northern Iceland wanted their own bishop to counterbalance the bishop in Skálholt. The present church is the seventh church in Hólar, and the fifth cathedral. Among the objects and artifacts shown on the minisheet are a crucifix and church bells. Hólar were for centuries the main cultural center of the North and for centuries the site of a college and a printing press. During the Catholic Era 23 bishops served at Hólar while 13 bishop served during the Reformation. In 1990 it was decided by law that suffragan bishops should reside at the old bishopries and serve as parish priests. Sólveig Lára Gudmundsdóttir is the suffragan bishop of the Hólar bishopry.