On the island of Selja, a 15-minute boat trip from Selje, lie the ruins of Selja Monastery, its tower still intact. The monastery was built by Benedictine monks early in the 12th century in honour of St. Sunniva. The legend of St. Sunniva who was martyred here lives on.
Norway has two male saints (St. Olav and St. Hallvard) and one female one, St. Sunniva, the guardian saint of Western Norway. According to legend Sunniva, daughter of an Irish king, fled when her country was conquered by heathens and the new king wanted to marry her. She came ashore on the island of Selja. The St. Sunniva cave where Sunniva is said to have died is a large cavern containing remains of walls and traces of the first church dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
You can also see the following on the island:
■The site of the first parish church which was later moved to the mainland.
■The ruins of St. Sunniva's Church on the site where Olav Trygvasson built one of the first churches in the country.
■The ruins of St. Alban's Church, the monastery church dedicated to the English Saint Alban.
■The monastery ruins which are in use today for church ceremonies such as masses and weddings.
■Several Viking graves and the remains of an iron-age longhouse have also been found on the south side of the island.
The secret well of St. Sunniva has, according to the legend, the force of healing diseases and adds years to your life.