The Eiffel Tower, The Statue of Liberty, The Colloseum, every city has an iconic building that people recognise it by whether through historical means or modern design and Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik is no different. Designed by Guðjón Samúelsson in 1937 the Hallgrímskirkja church is an iconic landmark in Reykjavik that is visible from all over the city.
It seems like no matter which road you walk down in Reykjavik the church is on display and none more so than from Leifsgata, especially at Christmas with a sea of Christmas lights lining the street drawing your eye along the road and straight up to the top of the tower.
The most noticeable aspect of the church is of course the tower which is visible from all over the city due to its impressive 74.5m height. If you are willing to pay a small fee you can jump in the elevator and head to the top to experience some impressive views of Reykjavik.
One of the statement features of the church is of course the exterior design. The vertical pillars were designed to create the same visual effect that is seen when lava cools to form basalt rock. This perfectly compliments the landscape associated with the whole of Iceland and is a beautiful addition to the city.
Statue of Leifr Eiricsson
Outside the front of Hallgrímskirkja Church is a statue of Leifr Eiricsson looking out across Reykjavik. Leifr was an Icelandic explorer and the first known European to discover North America so it’s great that this piece of Iceland’s history has been located centrally within the city.
On the back of the statue is an inscription in the rock that states:
Leifr Eiricsson Son Of Iceland Discoverer Of Vinland. The United States Of America To The People Of Iceland On One Of The Thousandth Anniversary Of The Althing AD 1930.
Entering into the church the expanse of space immediately strikes you. I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s not quite St.Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City but it is impressive!
However as impressive as this is, it is nothing compared to the incredible pipe organ. Towering over the congregation at 15m tall, weighing a ground breaking 25 tons and featuring an ear busting 5,275 pipes (5,275!) the organ really is something special! Now tell me this isn’t worth your time to visit as not only an incredible musical instrument but also a piece of art and design?
Visiting the Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavik should absolutely be on your list of things to do in Rekjavik. It’s easy to get to, free to enter and has a lot of interesting aspects to it coupled with some historical relevance for a city that is is so young on the world stage.
Have you been to the church or are planning a trip this year? Let us know in the comments!