The Hallgrimskirkja, also known as Hallgrim’s Church, is a parish church located in Reykjavik, the capital and largest city of Iceland. It is the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland, named in honor of one of Iceland’s most famous poets and a former minister at Hvalneskirkja, Hallgrimur Petursson.
The structure was built during the years 1945 and 1986, being designed by local famous architect, Guojon Samuelsson, who decided to respect the local traditions by using a design influenced by the flood basalts, which have occurred frequently in Iceland. The interior part of the church is also made in a traditional manner, yet its modern-meets-Gothic lines resemble the ancient ice formations. Today the building also functions as an important observation tower, as any observer has the opportunity to take a lift up to the viewing deck and admire the view of the entire city of Reykjavik alongside the beauty of the nearby mountains. In front of the church there is placed a statue of Leif Ericson, a famous explorer who is considered to be the first European to land in North America, a work made by American sculptor and teacher Alexander Stirling Calder. During 2008 the building was subject to a complex process of restoration of the main tower, a period during which it was changed and was covered in a temporary structure used to support people and material in the construction. The most important element currently situated inside the structure is a great organ that was built in Germany in 1992, boasting a 50-foot-tall case and 5,275 pipes.
Having a height of 74.5 metres, the Hallgrimskirkja is the tallest church in Iceland and over time has become one of Reykjavik’s most important and well known symbols. Located in Reykjavik’s city center, it is a building which most tourists come to Iceland in order to visit and admire.