Grand Churches of Iceland

By: Bjorn Olav Jonsson

Icelanders are very particular about their religion and their religious beliefs. Entire population strictly follows one religion i.e. Christianity and are very proud of this fact. This is the why some of the world's best and the oldest churches are in Iceland. Below is the description of some of the best and most significant churches in Iceland.

The church of Strandakirkja: this church is situated on the southwest coast on the road between Thorlakshofn and Grindavik. The special part about this church is that it is built of wood and has been the central part of prayers of seamen for centuries now. About this church, it is said that the original church was built by some seamen who were threatened for their lives. Their prayer to God was responded by an angel who said to have appeared on the shore to tell them the way to land. A statue of that angel is built there and is named "the guiding light for those who sail the sea". This church and the statue have always encouraged the seamen to face and fight the dangers they have to undergo in the stormy waters of the seas surrounding Iceland. People from all around the world come to see this church and take oath of donating here with the hope that their money will serve the poor and unfortunate people in times of needs. This is a small church but mind you, it is the richest in Europe and with its mind blowing surrounding and natural views, it becomes mandatory for everyone to visit here once.

Hallgrimskirkja: this is the most famous church in entire Iceland. It has got several characteristics to make it the most famous church. A Lutheran cathedral, Hallgrimskirkja church was built after Iceland's famous poet and clergyman Hallgrimur Petursson. This man is best known for his artistic works of Passiusalmal. He is also very famous because he was the most influential pastor in the age of orthodoxy and he made serious contributions to the Lutheran hymnody. This church was designed by Guojon Sameulsson who also designed Landakotskirkja in Reykjavik and Akureyrarkirkju in Akureyri. It took 38 years [1945-1986] to completely construct this church. It is 74.5 meters high and has the privilege to be the tallest building of Iceland. It is based in the middle of the capital city and has become a must visit place of Iceland. There is a statue in front of this church and it is of Leif Eriksson, an Icelandic who is believed to be the first European to set foot on America. This statue was gifted by America in 1930 to mark the millennium festival of Iceland's parliament.

Kopavogakirkja: it a modernist church situated in the second biggest town of Iceland, Kopavogur. This city is situated in south of Reykjavik very close to it. This church is located on a mountain called Borgarholt and provides some excellent opportunities to view Kopavogur and Reykjavik from top view. Construction work of this church started in 1958 and continued till 1963. The art used in this church's building is very remarkable which includes the very extraordinary cross section of two wide arches.

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