Friday, February 28, 2020

The Hallgrímskirkja


Last Friday I shared photos of the starkly beautiful and dangerous
Reynisfjara Beach in Iceland, a country I love and long to return to.

Today I am sharing photos of one of the most striking buildings I have seen.
It's architecture is said to have been inspired by Iceland's geology,
including the columnar basalt outcrops at Reynisfjara Beach:
Hallgrímskirkja, in Iceland's capital Reykjavík.


Hallgrímskirkja
Reykjavík, Iceland
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




This dramatic building, visible throughout Reykjavík,
is a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church.
It is the largest church in Iceland and one of the tallest buildings in the country.
It's soaring main tower reaches a height of 244 feet (74.5 meters)
and pulls your eyes straight up into the vault of heaven.


The Main Tower
Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík, Iceland
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Hallgrímskirkja
As Viewed from the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




The church was named after Hallgrímur Pétursson,
an Icelandic minister and poet, renowned for his Passion Hymns, 
a collection of 50 poems that describe Christ's Passion from the time
He enters the Garden of Gethsemane to His execution and burial.

Hallgrímur Pétursson
1614-1674
Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavík, Iceland
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




Iceland's parliament, the Althing, adopted Christianity
as Iceland's predominant religion in 999/1000 CE,
replacing the pagan old Norse religion.
In the 1530s, following the Icelandic Reformation, 
Iceland turned from Catholicism to Lutheranism.
The Lutheran Church of Iceland has remained the state church ever since.
Icelanders were granted religious freedom in 1874. Wikipedia


Skálholt 1550:  Last Roman Catholic Bishop in Iceland,
beheaded with his two sons in 1550
by Friðrik Bridde
Oil 150 X 200 cm
On exhibit in Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre
Reykjavik, Iceland
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





 Wikipedia








Guðjón Samúelsson designed
the Hallgrímskirkja church,
his final and best known work.

He was the first Icelander
educated in architecture
and went on to become a State Architect
and one of the most influential
architects in Iceland.

Construction of the Hallgrímskirkja began in 1945 and ended forty-one years later in 1986.
The crypt was completed in in 1948, the steeple and wings in 1974, and the nave in 1986.

Initially designed to be shorter, the height of the Hallgrímskirkja was increased
to make it taller than the Landakotskirkja, the cathedral of the Catholic Church in Iceland. 


A Portion of One of the Wings
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







The Roofs of the Nave and the Sanctuary
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






A Crow Rests in the Sunshine
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Overlooking the Roof of the Sanctuary
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






The Black Roof of the Nave
contrasts sharply with the rest of the church.
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






The church's tower contains an open-air observation deck
from which you can see sweeping views of Reykjavík
and the surrounding mountains, harbor, and ocean.


The Open-Air Observation Deck
at the top of the tower
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






The Open-Air Observation Deck
at the top of the tower
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Reykjavík
from the top of the tower
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved







Nearby Mountains
from the top of the tower
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Reykjavík
from the top of the tower
The Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved





Standing in front of the Hallgrímskirkja is a commanding statue
of Leif Erikson that predates the construction of the church.
The Icelandic explorer was the first European known to reach North America.
The United States gave the statue to Iceland in 1930 to commemorate
the 1000th anniversary of Iceland's parliament at Þingvellir in 930 AD.



Leif Erikson
in front of the Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Leif Erikson
in front of the Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved






Leif Erikson
in front of the Hallgrímskirkja
June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




If ever you make it to fabulous Reykjavík, 
the Hallgrímskirkja is one landmark you can't miss! 








Till next time ~
Fundy Blue



The Sun Voyager, a sculpture 
by Jón Gunnar Árnason
Reykjavík, Iceland, June 11, 2014
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




    



Source:  Wikipedia

Note:  Iceland turned from Catholicism to Lutheranism when Christian III of Denmark imposed it
           on all his subjects, including those in Iceland.  Jón Arason, the last Bishop of Iceland,
           resisted, even after the other bishop, Ögmundr Pálsson was deported.  In the religious strife
           that followed, Jón Arason and his two sons were seized and beheaded in 1550.
           Today he is remembered as a national and religious hero.
           Sources:  Britannica and Encyclopedia of Protestantism



For Map Lovers Like Me:
Location of Iceland
Map Data Google, INEGI, 2020






Location of Reykjavík, Iceland
Map Data Google, 2020






Location of the Hallgrímskirkja
Map Data Google, 2020




19 comments:

  1. Some wonderful buildings there Louise, What a great place to visit.
    Enjoyed the post very much, thanks for sharing.

    Yvonne.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Yvonne! Iceland is unique, a very special place, so much wonder! Have a great weekend, my friend! Hugs to you!

      Delete
  2. I am convinced Iceland is not a real place. This is a dream and somehow you stepped into it and took photos!

    "The Lutheran Church of Iceland has remained the state church ever since.
    Icelanders were granted religious freedom in 1874."

    This sounds so strange. I know a lot of places have a state religion, but it is just... I don't have a word. I'm not going to ask what happened to the Catholic bishop or who did it. That's...also, no word. Sad. Hmm, not powerful enough. Unfathomable. Nah....it is fathomable. But it is wrong. All wrong. It hurts.

    On a lighter note, the crow is standing on icing! It looks like all of the posts are topped with a thick layer of white. I bet that is to protect them. Should have put some on that bishop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Sandi! For the second week in a row I've gone back and added a little into my post because of your comments. Happy to do it! I will never forget seeing the painting of the beheading of the last Roman Catholic bishop of Iceland. The painting is about 6.5 feet wide and 5 feet tall ~ Such an emotional blow when you look at it. Religious strife is so wrong. Unfortunately it is only too fathomable. Have a good weekend, my friend!

      Delete
  3. Stunning building. No wonder it took so long to construct. And it's placement makes it look like it's out in the country, but it really is right there in town.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is quite something, Alex! I so want to go back! Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  4. It is one of the world's most stunningly beautiful churches, in my opinion. I'd love to see it in Iceland some day. And you took some magnificent photos of it, Louise. The one with the crow overlooking the sanctuary roof is breathtaking, as is your closeup of the windows of the observation deck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must go to Iceland, Debra! You would love it. I was thrilled with the crow overlooking the sanctuary photo ~ sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time, and fast! Have a great weekend with your Rare One!

      Delete
  5. It's a gorgeous church. And your photos are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Diane! I love photography as much as writing! Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  6. Outstanding, and I tried to find what it is built of? Maybe locaL materials, and the design? lost for words, and the pipe organ, if I were younger and could travel, would have to put this on the list. Views over the buildings and the waters, magnificent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Jean! The church is largely constructed of concrete, I think. I'm so glad that I got to see it, and of course some parts of Iceland. We're fortunate in that we have direct flights from Denver to Reykjavik,
      so it's much easier to get to Iceland from here than from New Zealand. Enjoy your weekend!!!

      Delete
  7. Wow, now that would sure be something to see. It's massive and sure has quite the view. Not sure I could ever say the name once let alone three times fast though lol great shots indeed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Pat! I came across an approximation of how to say the church's name: HALL-creams-kirk-yuh. I can't even say this three times fast! Have a good one!

      Delete
  8. Iceland does sound like an interesting country to visit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Adam! It definitely is. I've been watching South Carolina all day ~ I looked, but I didn't see you or Daisy! Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  9. one of the most beautiful building dear Louise

    brilliantly captured and shared by you
    history you shared is sad and painful indeed

    ReplyDelete
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  11. We missed this on our short layover in Iceland, but I would love to return some day when we have more than 24 hours to explore the country. The church is probably even more incredible to see in person. I would definitely spend some time touring through it.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments! I appreciate the time and energy you put into making them very much.