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The assertion that Christopher Columbus visited Iceland prior to his renowned voyage of 1492 has a long history, dating back to Finnur Magnússon’s work in 1833. This idea gained traction in the late 19th century through the writings of Rasmus B. Anderson and Marie A. Brown. Today Icelandic travel literature and Snæfellsnes visitors often encounter claims that Columbus spent a winter at Ingjaldshóll near present-day Hellissandur in 1476-77, supposedly preserved through oral tradition. However, evidence suggests that this belief likely originated in the 20th century, stemming from a 1886 short story by Danish author Sophus Bauditz, “Den fremmede I Rif,” later translated into Icelandic as “Kólumbus á Íslandi” in the Winnipeg newspaper “Heimskringla” in 1889. A thorough investigation by Stefan Jonasson into the development of this legend indicates that the narrative circulated today is likely a fictionalized account presented as historical fact.

See: Did Columbus really winter at Ingjaldshóll?

Location of Ingjaldshóll, Iceland
image: David Beard
(click on the image to enlarge)