The Capital Area Cemeteries, KGRP in Reykjavik, Iceland

Holavallagardur is the largest Icelandic cemetery, dating from the 19th century, and is the second largest cemetery managed by KGRP. The cemetery is a wonderful example of the versatility of memorials and the development of style that has taken place in cemeteries over time.

In the cemetery there is one of the oldest neoclassical standing gravestones, which is the work of an Icelander who had been to Denmark to study the stonemason’s trade. Many Danish stonemasons came to Iceland to teach their trade, but the most well-known was Julius Andreas Schau, who was one of the founders of the trade in Iceland.

There are a large number of his works, and those of his apprentices, in the cemetery, and they often have casts of Bertel Thorvaldsen's reliefs. KGRP has worked with Danish cemeteries to get new casts of the reliefs so the gravestones in the cemetery can be repaired.

The monuments in the cemetery are thus for the most part either the work of known Nordic artists and tradesmen or monuments with reliefs executed by them.

In 1998 a development committee for the cemetery was set up to promote its preservation and to manage repairs and changes.

KGRP is represented on this committee and in 2001 KGRP was instrumental in having those gravestones in the cemetery which are over one hundred years old registered by the Icelandic National Museum.

In 2004 some of the primary schools in Reykjavik entered into an agreement with KGRP, allowing the cemetery to become the local wooded area for the pupils and teachers. The cemetery contains about two hundred kinds of tree, bush and perennial plants and it is the oldest preserved grove in the old part of Reykjavik.

KGRP is successfully continuing to work for the preservation and repair of the cemetery. The aim of all this work by KGRP is to open the eyes of the citizens to this pearl in the heart of Iceland's capital city and to draw attention to the importance of the cemetery.