Church in Akureyri

Image by Reinhard Tiburzy Shutterstock

Dominating the town from high on a hill, Akureyri’s landmark church was designed by Guðjón Samúelsson, the architect responsible for Reykjavík’s Hallgrímskirkja. Although the basalt theme connects them, Akureyrarkirkja looks more like a stylised 1920s US skyscraper than its big-city sibling.

Built in 1940, the church contains a large 3200-pipe organ and a series of rather untraditional reliefs of the life of Christ. There’s also a suspended ship hanging from the ceiling, reflecting an old Nordic tradition of votive offerings for the protection of loved ones at sea. Perhaps the most striking feature is the beautiful central stained-glass window above the altar, which originally graced Coventry Cathedral in England.

The church admits visitors most days; check the board outside for opening times, as they change frequently.