Turf Church oh Hof: Iceland

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Hof, in Öræfi, is a small village in southeast Iceland, approximately 30 kilometers east of Vatnajökull, and 20 kilometers south of the Skaftafell National Park. Like many Icelandic villages, houses here are roofed with turf, a practice that developed in Northern Europe as early as the Iron age. In order to protect themselves and their livestock from the harsh climate, the settlers constructed shelters using the trees to provide a framework and covering the frame with turf. Near the end of the 18th century, a new style developed with the ends of the buildings made of wood and the turf covering the sides and roofs. Some of these buildings have survived to present times. The Hofskirkja Church is one such building.

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This article first appeared on Amusing Planet

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