Bessastaðir is today the official residence of the President of Iceland
President of Iceland
The President of Iceland is Iceland's elected head of state. The president is elected to a four-year term by universal adult suffrage and has limited powers. The president is not the head of government; the Prime Minister of Iceland is the head of government. There have been five presidents since...

 and is situated on Álftanes
Álftanes is a town, municipality and low-lying peninsula which extrudes from the eastern part of Reykjanes, located in Iceland's Greater Reykjavík Area....

, not far from the capital city, Reykjavík
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland.Its latitude at 64°08' N makes it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay...



After the slaying of Snorri Sturluson
Snorri Sturluson
Snorri Sturluson was an Icelandic historian, poet, and politician. He was twice elected lawspeaker at the Icelandic parliament, the Althing...

 in September 1241 Bessastaðir were claimed by the King of Norway. Thereafter it became a Royal stronghold and the dwellings of the King's highest ranking officers and officials in Iceland. It resisted an attack by Turkish slave raiders in July 1627
Turkish Abductions
The Turkish Abductions were a series of raids that took place in Iceland between July 4 – July 19, 1627. Both Austurland and Vestmannaeyjar were raided by Barbary pirates from the regency of Algiers.In 1627, Jan Janszoon hired a Danish “slave”...

. In the late 18th century Bessastaðir was changed into a school for a few years and until 1944 when it was donated to the President it was a common farm. The location is named after Sigurður Jónasson Bessastaðir who bought the estate in 1940 and donated it in 1941.
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