Monday, September 28, 2015

Hallgrímskirkja



Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran cathedral designed by Gudjón Samúelsson. Samúelsson drew his inspiration for this project from his surroundings, particularly from columnar basalt formed by lava flow in this volcanic island. It took over 40 years to complete the cathedral. Samúelsson didn't live to see the inauguration of Hallsgrímskirkja in 1986.  

The cathedral is named after Hallgrimur Petersson, Iceland's beloved poet who penned Hymns of the Passion (listen here: http://youtu.be/am04VxkReKU). He was also the pastor at Saurbaer in Hvalfjördur.


The rib vaulted ceiling reminds one of the great Gothic cathedrals. But what sets it apart from its predecessors is its clean and simple style. Sharp arches flow down to linear columns. 


The main altar is adorned with an eight-meter long painting, Five Crucifixions by Helgi Torgils Fridjónsson. "Whether this work should be regarded as religious, is really up to the spectator, however all mental conflict is by nature religious. People ponder the suffering of the crucified but I do not believe that for a religious person passion stands for direct pain but rather for a kind of experience and motion in time", according to Fridjónsson.


The organ was made by Johannes Klaes of Bonn. It is 49 ft. high and weighs 25 tons. 


Straight lines frame an arched window.


Hallgrímskirkja sits on a hill and its tower can be seen around town. There is a 360 degree view of the city and harbor from the tower which rises 73 meters (244 ft) from the ground. I used it as my point of reference when exploring the city. The fee for the elevator ride to the tower is 800 kr. Proceeds from the fee are used for church projects.

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Images by TravelswithCharie



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