Reykjavík, Iceland Hallgrímskirkja

 

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Hallgrímskirkja (, church of Hallgrímur) is a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 74.5m high, it is the largest church in Iceland and among the tallest structures in the country. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614–1674), author of the Passion Hymns.

Description

Situated in the centre of Reykjavík, it is one of the city's best-known landmarks and is visible throughout the city. State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson's design of the church was commissioned in 1937. He is said to have designed it to resemble the trap rocks, mountains and glaciers of Iceland's landscape.http://www.hallgrimskirkja.is/um-hallgrimskirkju/ The design is similar in style to the expressionist architecture of Grundtvig's Church of Copenhagen, Denmark, completed in 1940.
It took 41 years to build the church: construction started in 1945 and ended in 1986, but the landmark tower being completed long before the whole church was completed. The crypt beneath the choir was consecrated in 1948, the steeple and wings were completed in 1974, and the nave was consecrated in 1986. At the time of construction, the building was criticized as too old-fashioned and as a blend of different architectural styles. The church was originally intended to be less tall, but the leaders of the Church of Iceland wanted a large spire so as to outshine Landakotskirkja (Landakot's Church), which was the cathedral of the Catholic Church in Iceland.
The interior is 1676m2. In 2008, the church underwent a major restoration of the main tower, and was covered in scaffolding. In late 2009, restoration was completed and the scaffolding was removed.
The church houses a large pipe organ by the German organ builder Johannes Klais of Bonn. It has electronic action; the pipes are remote from the four manuals and pedal console. There are 102 ranks, 72 stops and 5275 pipes. It is 15m tall and weighs 25MT. Its construction was finished in December 1992. It has been recorded by Christopher Herrick in his Organ Fireworks VII CD and by on his CD Live at Vatnajökull.
The church is also used as an observation tower. An observer can take a lift up to the viewing deck and view Reykjavík and the surrounding mountains.
The statue of explorer Leif Erikson (c.970 – c.1020) by Alexander Stirling Calder in front of the church predates its construction. It was a gift from the United States in honor of the 1930 Althing Millennial Festival, commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Iceland's parliament at Þingvellir in 930 AD.

Opening hours


  • Winter (October – April): 9 am – 5 pm

  • Summer (May – September): 9 am – 9 pm

Sources

Wikipedia, Wikivoyage

Details

Tips

AlexanderBeautiful church with a magnificent organ. Sober but we liked it. We didn't go to the top as we had already gone to perlan where you had a free great view over reykjavik including the church ;)
Mark GaffneyAmazing organ inside
Carlos GarciaMust see
NoneGreat view! Worth going to the top!

Hallgrímskirkja