Borgarvirki fortress lies between Vesturhóp and Víðidalur in Vestur Húnavatnsýsla close to the main road (Route 1), and at 180m above sea level it looms over the surrounding area. Borgarvirki is a natural phenomenon, a volcanic plug made out of basalt strata. Volcanic plug is a volcanic landform created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano. At the top of the volcanic plug there is a horseshoe shaped basin, with 5-8 meters high walls on all sides which opens to the east. The inside of the basin is about 1402m in diameter. At the opening a stone entrance has been erected because the basin was used for military purposes for centuries. The walls had long since crumbled because of disrepair, but in Between 1940-1950, the main entrance was renovated by workers. Inside the fortress there are ruins of two houses and the remains of a well which indicates that people often spent days or even weeks in the fortress at a time.
It is unknown who first erected the fortress but some stories say that it was built by a local chieftain by the name Barði Guðmundsson from a farm called Ásbjarnarstaðir. In one of the sagas, Heiðarvíga saga, it is said that he built it when he and his clan fought a neighbouring clan called Borgfirðingar. After Barði led a successful raid into the territory of his enemies, they came after him and cornered him and his men at Borgarvirki fortress. After being unable to breach the fortress the attackers decided to keep the fortress under siege and starve them out. Barði and his men did not have a lot of previsions to begin with, but after the siege had lasted a few days the food started running out. When some of the attackers started goading them to surrender by telling them that they had food for them, Barði took the last of the food they had and threw it at them, intending to make them believe that they had plenty of food left. The ruse worked and the attackers abandoned the siege and went back home.
An alternative theory is that the fortress was originally built as a regional refuge during the settlement era, to fall back to at a time of unrest, for the people living in the neighbouring countryside.
Form on top of the fortress there is a good view over the neighbouring countryside and inside the fortress there is a viewing dial which marks the names of neighbouring landmarks, mountains and farms.
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