Hólar, the most important historical site in northern Iceland. Bishopric 1106–1798, and again from 1986. Cathedral college 1106–1802. Seat of many famous bishops, e.g. Jón Ara¬son, 1524–50, the last Catholic Bishop in Iceland, and Guðbrandur Þorláksson, 1571–1627, whose printing of the first Icelandic Bible was crucial to the preservation of the language.
The Cathedral, the oldest stone church in Iceland, built of red sandstone from the mountain Hólabyrða, consecrated in 1763 and reconsecrated 1988 after extensive renovation.
Many ancient relics. A turf farmhouse Nýibær near the top of the field, built in 1860, has been in the care of the National Museum since 1956.
An agricultural college was established at Hólar in 1882 which was the foundation of the present University College, specializing in equine science, rural tourism, aquatic science, archeology and cultural heritage.