The Arctic Henge – Raufarhöfn, Iceland - Atlas Obscura

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The Arctic Henge

Raufarhöfn, Iceland

This modern monument to pagan belief looks like it was transported straight from ancient times. 


Located in one of Iceland’s most remote northern villages, the Arctic Henge is a colossal piece of stone construction that evokes neolithic monuments throughout the world. 

Started in 1996, the Arctic Henge project is a monument not only to the country’s Nordic roots, but also to some of the neo-pagan beliefs that have arisen in certain areas. The piece was inspired directly from the Eddic poem Völuspá (Prophecy of the Seeress), taking from it the concept of 72 dwarves who represent the seasons in the world of the poem, among other symbolic queues. In the Arctic Henge, 72 small blocks, each inscribed with a specific dwarven name will eventually circle four larger stone monuments, which in turn will surround a central balanced column of massive basalt blocks. Each aspect of the deliberate layout corresponds to some aspect of ancient Norse belief and when each piece of the monument is installed, visitors will be able to “capture the midnight sun” by viewing it through the various formations at different vantage points depending on the season.

As of September 2021, the monument is still a work in progress. When it is complete, the Arctic Henge could easily become the premier site for Paganism in the entire world, and millennia from now it might seem as mysterious as Stonehenge seems to us today.

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