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Iceland Mag

Culture

The Road Administration plans to move an elf church which sits in the path of new road

By Staff

  • Hard at work The Road Administration plans to move a 70 tonne (154,324 lbs) rock which sits in the middle of the Gálgahraun lava field in the Reykjavík suburb of Garðabær. Photo/GVA

The Road Administration plans to move a 70 tonne (154,324 lbs) rock which sits in the middle of the Gálgahraun lava field in the Reykjavík suburb of Garðabær, and in the path of a new road linking Álftanes to Garðabær. Some believe the rock to be the infamous elf church Ófeigskirkja.

In an interview with DV G. Pétur Matthíasson, PR manager for the Road Administration, would not reveal the cost of moving the rock, but says they will have to hire a crane to do the job.

Read more: An American in Reykjavík: Do Icelanders actually believ in elves or is the joke on us?

“The circumstances are quite unusual as the rock is somewhat distinctive to the area. In this case people warned that the rock was likely the famous Ófeigskirkja, we felt the need to respect that belief,” he explained.

Although elves are thought to be responsible for numerous heavy equipment breakdowns and other accidents over the decades, it is uncommon that the Road Administration decides to divert roads or move rocks for the sake of elves.

 

Gálgahraun, Ómar Ragnarsson

Protester carried away by police in 2013. Photo/GVA

Read more: Do Icelanders really believ in elves?

“One such incident involved Grásteinn, an elf rock near Vesturlandsvegur road. The rock was moved twice,” Pétur says.  

The building of the road between Álftanes and Garðarbær was highly criticised when the plans were made public in 2013 as the road runs through a protected area of the Gálgahraun lava field. This lead to a series of protests taking place near the construction site and to a number of arrests.

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