Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavík city is truly a beautiful and captivating church. The supreme landmark towering 74.5 m peak and it is the tallest and the most noteworthy church and building in Iceland. This is actually a Lutheran parish church, a major branch of Western Christianity. Its name Hallgrímskirkja was derived from the most loved pastor in the Age of Orthodoxy, Hallgrímur Pétursson also the author of Passíusálmar and other important Lutheran hymns. It has been considered as the symbol of Reykjavík. The design of the church was inspired by the basalt or ice formations that can be seen in Iceland. It is a work of art by the architect Guðjón Samúelsson in 1945. The tower was the first to erect followed by the rest of the building and it took 38 years to complete the church. When standing inside the church, it is like being inside a huge glacier cave. It has captivating designed pillars and looking up the ceiling will get you lost for words to describe it. The view of the church during night time is even more fascinating, the lights that glow beneath and above it make it magical.
The pipe organ
Inside the church is a very large pipe organ which was built by Johannes Klais of Bonn, a German organ maker, in 1992. The pipe organ consists of four manuals and a pedal, 102 ranks, 72 stops, and 5275 large pipes and it stands about 50 feet tall and weighs 25 tons. This is a huge pipe organ responsible for filling the large church hall with an ample amount of range tones. This remarkable feature is the church’s asset and has been used in several music recordings.
When you visit Hallgrímskirkja Church you might notice a guard statue in front of the church. This is the statue of Leifur Eiriksson, born in 970. He was the first European to ever discover America in the year 1000 A.D. , about 500 years before Christopher Columbus did! This statue was America’s gift to Iceland in 1930 in recognition of the Alþingi Millennial Festival that was about its 1,000th anniversary that time. Alexander Stirling Calder, a famous American sculptor and teacher, was the one who got the honor to design such a significant masterpiece.
What really is significant about the Hallgrímskirkja Church is its bell tower. It is clearly visible from all directions of Reykjavik and is the navigational building. It can be accessed via an elevator and when you are in the tower. You can view the entire city from there. The sanctuary is simple and serene which also gives you a good view out to sea.
It is somewhat refreshing to come to visit the Hallgrímskirkja Church since it is a simple as they call it; minimalist designed church. It is indeed worth to visit. The church itself cannot be missed while in Reykjavík because it is really easy to spot, just go and walk straight up the hill at any side and you’ll find it. But the most concise address in Skólavörðuholt, Reykjavík. The church is open daily at 9 in the morning up to 5 in the evening. Going inside up the bell tower will cost you about 500kr for Adults and 100kr for children but it will be worth it by all the enchanting sights you can see from the top. Definitely worth the visit and is indeed a one of a kind experience while in Reykjavík. However, if you are afraid of heights you can still enjoy the place by listening to its organ. Its powerful yet calming music will take your soul to its tranquil phrase. Light a candle and enjoy the moment.