Hallgrímskirkja Church in the heart of Reykjavik is a “young” building. It was completed in 1986 but took close to 40 years to erect. Its design, driving up in a pointed way to the sky with its tower, reflects on the landscape of the island country with its lava flows. The structure is not the tallest structure in Iceland but is the tallest church. Though young, it has become the icon of the city due to its highly visible profile and unique architecture.
Outside, you can admire the structure from up close which allows for any number of neat pictures from different perspectives. Outside you can also admire the statue to Leif Erikson, allegedly, the first European to reach North America (I mean, who knows if another Viking got there before him?!). Interestingly, the statue pre-dates the church as it was given by the U.S. to Iceland in 1930 to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of the establishment of Iceland’s Parliament at Þingvellir.
We went inside and, as many Protestant churches, the interior was plain. I assume the more so to help the faithful focus on God. Being a tourist-visited site, of course, removes some of that aura but, at the time I visited, there was an organist playing (or maybe just practicing?) which drew attention to the pipe organ at the back of the church.
My favorite part is the observation deck at the top of the church tower. As usual, when it is available, I always go up to gain a birds-eye view of the places I visit. This deck did not disappoint as it helped frame the city of Reykjavik within its setting, hugged by mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. I leave you with some of the views I enjoyed from up high in Hallgrímskirkja!