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Churches Walking Tour of Reykjavik, Reykjavik
Churches Walking Tour of Reykjavik
Guide Location: Iceland » Reykjavik
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Image Courtesy of Flickr and o palsson
Author: vickyc
This self-guided walking tour is included in the iOS app "City Maps and Walks (470+ Cities)" in iTunes and the Android app "Reykjavik Map and Walks" in Google Play.
Icelandic churches are unique, and much of the best architecture of Reykjavik can be found at its religious sites. Most churches in Reykjavik do not intrude on the picturesque and dramatic scenery surrounding them. The exception to this rule is Hallgrímskirkja, the most impressive church of the city. This self-guided tour will lead you to the religious sites of Reykjavik:
Tour Stops and Attractions
1) Landakotskirkja
Landakotskirkja ("Landakot's Church") is the cathedral of the Catholic Church in Iceland. It is located in the western part of Reykjavík, on the Landakot property. It has a distinctively flat top, as opposed to the standard spire. Its architect is Guðjón Samúelsson, who also built the famous Hallgrímskirkja and the Akureyrarkirkja in Akureyri.

The first Catholic priests to arrive in Iceland after the Reformation were the Frenchmen Bernard Bernard and Jean-Baptiste Baudoin. They bought the Landakot farmstead in Reykjavík and settled there in the early 19th century. They built a small chapel in 1864. A few years later, a small wooden church was erected by Túngata, close to Landakot. After the First World War, Icelandic Catholics saw the need to build a bigger church for the growing number of Catholics. They decided to build a Neo-Gothic church and entrusted the task to the architect Guðjón Samúelsson. After years of construction, Landakotskirkja was finally sanctified on the 23rd of July 1929. It was the largest church in Iceland at the time. Today, Landakotskirkja is a distinct landmark in western Reykjavík. The only Catholic school in Iceland, Landakotsskóli, is located nearby on the same land.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Christian Bickel fingalo
Sight description based on wikipedia
Domkirkjan Church
2) Domkirkjan Church
Dómkirkjan Church is the second oldest received church of the Faroe Islands, on Tinganes in the old town of Tórshavn. Painted white, and roofed with slate, it was established in 1788. The cathedral church lies in the north of the peninsula Tinganes and is one of the main attractions of the town. Like most churches of the country it belongs to the Evangelical-Lutheran national church of the Faroe Islands. Since 1990 it has been the seat of the bishop of the Faroes and is therefore known as a cathedral.

The early history of the church is quite complicated. It has been suggested that services were held in the Munkastovan in Tinganes. It was only in 1609, that a proper church, built on a stony hill, known as "úti á Reyni" was built on Tinganes, when King Christian IV directed the Lord Lieutenant at Bergenshus "to bestow upon the Faroese people some timber for the construction of their church...". In 1780 Rasmus Jørgen Winther became minister in Tórshavn and in 1782 seized the initiative to build a new church. In 1788 the population of Torshavn numbered approx. 600 people and in 1865 approx. 900 people.

The church was rebuilt in 1865, and seems in fact to have only marginally affected the structural parts of the 1788 church. The church has on the whole preserved its structure from 1865. In 1935, however, the choir was extended by four metres and a new sacristy was built. The choir was also extended with an office and other secondary rooms in 1968. The nave itself contains 44 benches, the gallery 14.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Wolfgang Sauber
Sight description based on wikipedia
Fríkirkjan Church
3) Fríkirkjan Church
Fríkirkjan Church is a Free Lutheran church located in the center of Reykjavik on the shore of the picturesque Tjörnin Lake. There are always many seagulls and ducks on the water near the church. The church is characterized by a green roof. In general, the buildings in Reykjavik are of different, rather bright colors. The church was built in 1902 and is constructed of wood covered with metal, a prime example of the Icelandic vernacular tradition.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Luc Van Braekel
Sight description based on wikipedia
Hallgrimskirkja Church
4) Hallgrimskirkja Church
Hallgrimskirkja is often considered the most beautiful church in Reykjavik. Its architecture is amazing and is known around the world. It is a very tall structure set on a hill, and it is therefore seen from the far ends of Reykjavik. You can walk around the church to admire its sophisticated architecture. There is also an elevator or stairs that you can take to the top of the church to view the city and its magical skyline.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Molechaser
Sight description based on wikipedia
Háteigskirkja Church
5) Háteigskirkja Church
Hateigskirkja is a local Reykjavik church, which is part of the state church. It has a very beautiful white color that makes it especially solemn during winter, when there is white snow around. It has two tall spires and two shorter spires. You can see beautiful religious pictures inside the church.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and vestman
Laugarneskirkja Church
6) Laugarneskirkja Church
Laugarneskirkja Church is a small, but picturesque church in Reykjavik. It was designed by the architect Gudjon Samuelsson, who helped create many splendid buildings in Reykjavik. The church dates back to 1949. It is especially beautiful at night, when it is illuminated.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and TommyBee
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