The jewel of North West Iceland

If you haven’t heard of the Vatnsdæla tapestry in Blönduós yet, then today is your lucky day! You do not want to miss this place when visiting North West Iceland!

The project

Jóhanna E. Pálmadóttir runs the Icelandic Textile Center in Blönduós (North West Iceland) that celebrates textile art, and regularly welcomes students and artists visiting or coming for residency.

The final tapestry will be 46 meters longShe has always been fascinated by the Bayeux-tapestry and went a few times to France already to see it, with an intact enthusiasm. Dating back to the 11th century, the Bayeux-tapestry is known as the oldest tapestry in the world, and depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. It is 70 meters long and 50 centimeters tall!

The idea of making her own tapestry kept becoming stronger in Jóhanna’s mind, who had the desire to revive a local saga, the Vatnsdæla saga, using ancient methods of embroidery.

The drawings were made by students from the graphic department of the Icelandic University of Arts, under the supervision of the artist Kristin R. Gunnarsdóttir.

The final tapestry will be just over 46 meters long, from which 15 meters have already been completed. Everyone wanting to become part of the project and leave its mark in history is welcome to join and sew for an hour of more.


Vatnsdæla Saga

Vatnsdæla saga is a family saga that took place through the 9th to 11th century, and is believed to have been written after the middle of the 13th century (ca. 1270).

Vatnsdæla chronicles tell the story of Ingimundur, the grandson of a Norwegian chieftain, who fought for King Harald and eventually ended up in Iceland in the early days of Christianity. The saga deals with subjects such as fate, love, and honor, and include a good number of conflicts against threatening enemies.
The main scenes take places in Norway, Vatndalur in Iceland and its surroundings, which makes the saga a very precious heritage for people living in the area.




The tapestry is located at the Icelandic Textile Center in Blönduós, that hosts the Knitting Festival in June. The tapestry can be visited in Summer from 13-17 and in Winter by appointment. All those who participate or support the project will be credited in a book reflecting on the history of the tapestry. Do not miss it!


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