Select Page

The Battle of Haugsnes, known as “Haugsnesbardagi” in Icelandic, took place at Haugsnes, a peninsula in Northern Iceland, on April 19, 1246. The conflict pitted the forces of Þórður kakali Sighvatsson against those of Brandur Kolbeinsson. Ultimately, Þórður emerged as the victor. This battle is notable for being the most deadly clash in Icelandic history, resulting in approximately 110 casualties. Among the fallen was Brandur Kolbeinsson, the leader of the Ásbirningar family clan. The defeat of Brandur Kolbeinsson’s forces marked the decline of the Ásbirningar’s influence and power.

In commemoration of the battle, Sigurður Hansen of Kringlumýri, an artist and farmer, created a memorial at the battle site. This memorial consists of over 1100 boulders arranged in the formation that the combatants would have taken during the battle. Each boulder represents a participant in the conflict, and those who lost their lives are distinguished with iron crosses. This artistic memorial serves as a lasting tribute to the significance of the Battle of Haugsnes in Icelandic history.

The site of the Battle of Haugsnes. 1100 boulders have been arranged in battle order, each representing a combatant.

image: Navaro / Wikimedia Commons