Skálholt was,for about 8 centuries one of Iceland´s most important places. From 1056 until 1785 was along with Hólar one of two episcopal sees. Iceland's first official school, Skálholtsskóli was also founded here in 1056 to educate clergy. In 1992 the seminary in Skálholt was re-instituted under the old name and now serves as the education and information center of the Church of Iceland.
Skálholt receives many visitors each year. Hospitality is a branch of Skálholtsskóli's work and visitors can stay in the dormitories, single rooms, and cottages. Many cultural events such as concerts are held in Skálholt. Foremost of these is the Summer Concerts program in July, in which prominent classical musicians, choirs and other musicians are invited to perform.
The current cathedral at Skálholt is relatively large in comparison to most Icelandic churches; its span from door to apse is approximately 30 meters. Some of its predecessors were even longer, reaching up to 50 m in length. The new cathedral was built from 1956 to 1963 as a part of the millennial celebrations of the episcopal see. The other Scandinavian churches celebrated this along with the Icelandic church and many of the new cathedral's items are gifts of theirs; for example, Gerður Helgadóttir's extensive stained glass windows are a gift from the Danes.