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Hallgrimskirkja: Geyser Church of Reykjavik
Reykjavík and surrounding
Architecture,  Temples, Churches
Temples, Churches

Firmly, this majestic building soars over the streets, like a powerful geyser or a snow-white volcano. You may also be deceived into thinking that it is a carefully cut and shaped iceberg that somehow appeared in the city.

The Hallgrimskirkja church (yes, you may need to take your time to practice to pronounce the name) is located in the center of Reykjavik. Its great tower rises into the sky, and you can’t help but notice this structure in the lowland city. This building is a Lutheran church, the fourth tallest building in Iceland. Only the Hellissandur radio mast, the Eidar (Eiðar) radio transmitter, and the urban skyscraper Smaratorg Tower in Kopavogur are taller than the church of the capital.

It was named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrimur Petursson, the author of the poetic collection called the Passion Hymns.

The project of the church was designed in 1937 by the architect Gudjon Samuelsson (Guðjón Samúelsson). The construction took 41 years: it was launched in 1945, and the final architectural tweaks were completed in 1986. In 1948, 26 years later, the crypts and choirs, the central tower, and the church wings appeared. The nave was consecrated in 1986.

The 74.5 meters high church combines neo-Gothic and expressionist stylistic elements. The church rises in the center of the Icelandic capital and can be seen from different corners of Reykjavik. It became one of the architectural symbols of the city.

A statue of Leif Erikson stands on the square by the central facade of the temple. This Scandinavian explorer, chieftain, and baptist of Greenland, whose achievements are captured by Saga of Erik the Red and the Saga of the Greenlanders, is considered the first European to sail to the lands of North America, five centuries before Christopher Columbus. The statue was gifted to Reykjavik by the United States in 1930 to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the Icelandic parliament.

The church accepts visitors every day from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Address: Hallgrimstorg 101

Published by

Diane Mikheeva

All content and media files are published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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