In the old neighbourhood of Gerðar stands a memorial that tells a horrifying story about two great disasters that wiped out an entire settlement.
First, on 12 March 1745 an avalanche destroyed the farm in Gerðar, killing five people. The farm was rebuilt on the same site, but exactly 20 years later, on 12 March 1765, another avalanche levelled the farm to the ground, this time killing 20 people.
The survivors chose to rebuild the farm down by the shore, where it has stood safely ever since. The neighbourhood in Gerðar has not experienced an avalanche since 1765. But the tragedies that hit those who lived in Gerðar have not been forgotten. To this day, people in the neighbouring area are evacuated whenever the accumulated snow on mount Kjølur threatens to tumble down over them. And to this day, no one has dared to build on the place where the old farm in Gerðar once stood.
200 years after the last tragedy, on 12 March 1945, the descendants raised a memorial at the disastrous site where their ancestral home twice was crushed to the ground.
Photo by Oliver Joensen