Bessastaðir was first settled in 1000. It became one of Snorri Sturluson's farm in the 13th century. After the slaying of Sturluson in September 1241, Bessastaðir was 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. 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.