Thingeyrarkirkja Church

Thingeyrarkirkja church is an impressive and extraordinary church overlooking Lake Hóp, the fifth largest lake in Iceland, east of the Vatnsnes Peninsula. It took 13 years to build and was ready in the year 1877. The church is unusual for the late 19th century because churches at that time were typically sided with corrugated iron. 

Instead, Thingeyrarkirkja was constructed from hewn basalt and limestone, a very pricey undertaking. The interior is also unusual, with a deep, broad apse that encircles everything in front of the pews – markedly different from the rectangular Icelandic norm. The church’s half domed dark blue ceiling has about a thousand gold stars mounted on it. Several pieces inside the church are historically significant, including the altarpiece, originating in Nottingham in the 15th century. 

Thingeyrarkirkja is considered by many to be amongst the most beautiful churches in Iceland. It's one of the few churches built with local stone and building it took 13 years. Thingeyri was also the site of Iceland's first monastery, established in 1133 by bishop Jon Ogmundsson. The monastery was of Benedictine order and was quite wealthy and stood quite long. After the Reformation in Iceland in the year 1550 the monastery was closed.