Crosses by the Highway in South Iceland

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Crosses by the Highway in South Iceland

The erection of the 52 original memorial crosses at Kögunarhóll.Photo: Innanríkisráðuneytið/Minister of the Interior

Q: I just came back to Paris after a few days in Iceland, and I have a question about something we saw on the road.

We were driving back from Gullfoss to Reykjavik on road 35. We turned right to take road 1 to the West and shortly after this turn, we saw about 20 to 30 white crosses planted in the ground.

At first it looked like a cemetery, but after a second take, it looked more like a memorial site for the victims of a catastrophe. The catastrophe that came to my mind was the plane crash near Skógar but I thought that the site of the crash is too far from where we were to be linked.

Do you know this place and do you know what it means? Is it a cemetery? A memorial? What does it refer to? Thank you!

Best regards,

Frederique, France


A: The crosses you mention commemorate the lives of those killed in car accidents between Reykjavík and the town of Selfoss, mostly on the Suðurlandsvegur highway.

The proponents of the memorial wanted to highlight the importance of prioritizing funding for the expansion of the highway in this area, as a safety precaution to further accidents.

They are then also meant to remind drivers to be cautious while traversing this often treacherous stretch of road.