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The library in the church tower

In the tower of Skálholt Church, there is a remarkable and good collection of the oldest prints in Iceland. The museum contains copies of most of the books that were printed in Iceland from the end of the 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century.

The museum is originally the museum of Þorstein Þorsteinsson, the commissioner of Dalaman. Kári Helgason then bought the collection, added to it somewhat and improved it.

Bishop Sigurbjörn Einarsson lobbied for the National Church to buy the collection from Kára in 1965, and after public fundraising, a temporary place was found in the tower of the church, where it is still preserved in fireproof vaults.

Torrential rain

"It was quite an experience and exciting in parts," said Professor Jón Steffenssen, who was present at the book's presentation. "I was at the excavation more or less all summer. There, many remarkable things came to light, which were hard to realize until later, how remarkable they were. Bishop Pál's stone coffin was naturally the most significant. To get their hands on something that no one knew what it was. There was only one source about Paul, in the episcopal history, and it talks about his coffin, but then no more of the story. Here was a unique piece of evidence and at the same time an amusing proof of an ancient source. The actual opening of the coffin did not take place until a solemn ceremony, and then this torrential rain came."

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