Hallgrimskirkja Church | The Most Famous Landmark in Reykjavik


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Being the largest church in the city, Hallgrimskirkja Church is visible from almost every point in the city. Located on the top of Skólavörðuhæð hill in the center of Reykjavík, the church is 74.5 meters tall. Being the tallest in Reykjavík, the tower provides a spectacular view of the city and on a clear day you will get awe-inspiring views of Snaefellsjokull glacier as well. You can enjoy the majestic view from the tower of the church. It was completed in 1986 and took around 40 years to build the concrete structure. In 2009, the church tower was renovated. It was designed by one of the most renowned architects of Iceland, Guðjón Samúelsson. It is named after the 17th-century priest Hallgrímur Pétursson who was also the author of Hymns of the Passion.

Hallgrímskirkja is a part of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Iceland. This religious place is one of the most visited sites in Iceland. Thousands of people visit the church every day to pray and enjoy the beautiful landscape of Reykjavík. The tall central tower and sloping sides of the church resemble gigantic columns of lava residue. Despite the striking grand exterior, the interior of this place is rather simple. Tall gray columns flank leads to an altar and appear to curve into pointed arches scattered by glass windows. The wood and basalt-colored upholstery used in the rows of seats complement each other. The uncluttered interiors are a reflection of the Lutheran roots of the church. The minimalism design offers a distinctly Gothic design aesthetic.

Winter in Reykjavik seen over Hallgrimskirkja church

Beauty Around The Church

You will find one of the most famous statues of Iceland’s legendary man outside the church. The statue Leifur Eiríksson was a gift from the United States of America in 1930. Eiríksson was a Norse explorer from Iceland who set foot on the continent of North America in the year 1000, approximately more than half a millennium before Christopher Columbus.  It also serves as a central meeting point for cultural events, such as the annual congregation for viewing the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. The most capturing feature is a pipe organ that was added in December 1992. This piper organ towers 50 feet tall and is constructed from 5,275 pipes.

When you visit the nearby places of the tallest church of Reykjavík, you will witness the largest steel sculpture of a ship called Sun Voyager. It is located on the Sæbraut road, by the seaside of central Reykjavík. It draws the attention of tourists from all over the world throughout the year. The reflection of the Sun in the stainless-steel structure of this incredible monument provides an astounding view. It serves as a verse to the sun where it faces north across Faxaflói Bay.

You can find variety of tours around Reykjavík that is known to be the northernmost capital of any sovereign country in the world. With a population of approximately 120,000, it attracts a large amount of visitors every year. The capital of Iceland has a reputation for being one of the safest and cleanest cities in the world.

Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik

How to Reach Hallgrimskirkja Church

Located in the city center of Reykjavík, the church can be easily accessed by travelers. Most people stay in downtown Reykjavik when exploring the city, and you can walk to the church from most accommodations in the center. An elevator through the bell tower leads to an open-air observation floor, where you can see the houses and lanes sprawl to meet the azure Norwegian Sea.

Hallgrimskirkja Church is open every day throughout the year. Visiting this place in all seasons of the year is convenient. If you are planning for a weekend trip to the Reykjavík and surrounding places then you can find good hotels, hostels, and guesthouses in the capital city.

Map of Hallgrimskirkja

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