Selárdalur is a deserted remote valley in Arnarfjörður. On the farm Brautarholt lived the farmer Samúel Jónsson (1884–1969). He created quite remarkable pieces of art that can still be seen on the farm, amongst them a church he built with an altar piece that had been rejected by the local parish and a model of the St. Peter‘s church in the Vatican. He also made a replica of the Court of the Lions (Patio de los Leones) in the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.
I have a special connection with Granada and was very excited to see the replica of the Court of the Lions. The story says that Samúel saw a picture of the Court of the Lions on a postcard and since he wasn‘t able to travel to Spain to see it he decided to make a replica of his own. I wasn‘t disappointed! Samúel made the lions from concrete and he even made fountains out of their mouths like in the original.
Samúel must have been a very original man and a good problem solver. He is often called „The artist with the child‘s heart“ as his art is very naive.
Several large objects are on the farm and only recently a society has been formed to raise money to reconstruct and protect them.
How to get there:
Take road no. 619 from the village of Bíldudalur. It is a gravel road but can easily be driven on a standard car.