Kirkjubær is a village on a farm and church site in Síða, previously called Kirkjubæjarklaustur. According to the Book of Settlement, Irish monks were the first settlers. There was a convent at the site from 1186 until the Reformation. Various folk tales are associated with the convent, such as the one about Systrastapi (Sisters' Rock), located near the west hay-field at Kirkjubær. There was a church at Kirkjubæjarklaustur until 1859, and the local cemetery contains the grave of Jón Steingrímsson (1728-1791), the local vicar at the time when the Skaftá eruption occurred. On July 20th 1783 he delivered his famous sermon that is believed to have convinced God to stop the flow of lava before it reached Systrastapi. In 1974 a new chapel was consecrated in his memory. Kirkjubæjarstofa is a new cultural and research centre.

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