You might know Dimmu Borgir (the Dark Castles), the Norwegian metal band. They  named themselves after this Dimmuborgir lava field in Iceland in the Mývatn region, that looks like ruines of an ancient building, . My husband is a metallover, so we had to visit this dramatic gem during our Iceland roadtrip.

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Rain and sun

My first visit in 2002 was quite memorable. It was a grey, dreary day and it started raining. My friend Manuela and I took a wrong turn so we were soaked by the time we arrived at the car. The weather really suited the amazing lava rock formations.

But in 2012, when I went there with the husband-metallover, it was one of the sunniest days during our trip. Kristof was a little disappointed whereas G and I enjoyed the sunshine a lot.



Some 2300 years ago, Dimmuborgir came into existence after an eruption in the Þrengslaborgir and Lúdentsborgir crater row. It’s the remnant of an emptied lava lake. I’d love to tell you how they came about, but I find a few different versions but none of them is scientifical. I’ll try to find it out later.

556592_10151007728281845_1563947477_nYule lads

Of course, such dramatic and dark scenery must inspire tales. It is said that the 13 Icelandic Yule lads live in the mountains around Dimmuborgir. They are the children of the childeating troll Grýla. The Yule Lads don’t take after their mum, but still they are mischievous and cause trouble such as stealing milk, snatching sausages, slamming door or licking spoons. The Yule Lad website gives you a nice overview.

Icelandic children leave their shoes out in the 13 days before Christmas. If they have been good, they get something nice such as a small present or a sweet. Otherwise they get rotten potatoes. A bit similar to our Belgian Sinterklaas.

There is also the Yuletide cat, Grýla’s pet, who ate children that didn’t get new clothes. Björk made a song about the animal.

Do you need more inspiration for your trip to Iceland? Check all my posts!


More pictures of Dimmu Borgir


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