sights / Religious

Hallgrímskirkja information

Reykjavík , Iceland
+354 510 1000
More information
tower adult/child Ikr700/100
Opening hours
9am-9pm Jul & Aug, to 5pm Sep-Jun
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Reykjavík’s immense white-concrete church (1945–86), star of a thousand postcards, dominates the skyline, and is visible from up to 20km away. Get an unmissable view of the city by taking an elevator trip up the 74.5m-high tower . In contrast to the high drama outside, the Lutheran church’s interior is quite plain. The most eye-catching feature is the vast 5275-pipe organ installed in 1992. The church’s size and radical design caused controversy, and its architect, Guðjón Samúelsson (1887–1950), never saw its completion.

The columns on either side of the tower represent volcanic basalt, part of Samúelsson's desire to create a national architectural style. Out front, gazing proudly into the distance is a statue of the Viking Leifur Eiríksson, the first European to discover America. Designed by Alexander Stirling Calder (1870–1945), it was a present from the USA on the 1000th anniversary of the Alþing (National Assembly) in 1930.

Hallgrímskirkja (pronounced hatl-krims-kirkya ) was named after poet Reverend Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614–1674), who wrote Iceland’s most popular hymn book: Passíusálmar (Passion Hymns).

From mid-June to mid-August, hear choir concerts (admission Ikr2000) at noon on Wednesday, and organ recitals at noon on Saturday and some Thursdays (admission Ikr1700), and on Sunday at 5pm (admission Ikr2500). Services are held Sunday at 11am, with a small service Wednesday at 8am. There is an English service the last Sunday of the month at 2pm.