Hallgrímskirkja

Visible from almost any point in the city, Hallgrimskirkja Church sits at the top of Skolavordustigur Street, the central art and design shopping street in the capital. The iconic building is 73 meters (240 ft) high, and a visit to the top will reward you with awe-inspiring views of Reykjavik and even Snaefellsjokull glacier on a clear day.

Completed in 1986, the concrete structure took over 40 years to build and the tower was renovated in 2009. The soaring modernist church was designed to resemble the basalt lava flows found in Iceland's natural landscape. Named after 17th-century hymn writer Hallgrimur Petursson, Hallgrimskirkja is a Lutheran church, as are most churches in Iceland. Services are held each Sunday and the wonderful acoustics and enormous pipe organ make it an ideal venue for classical music concerts.

In front of Iceland’s largest church is a statue of Icelandic Viking Leif Eiriksson, the first European to set foot on the North American continent around 1,000 AD. The impressive statue was a gift from the United States on the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the Althing Parliament in 1930.

 

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