64.1466° N, 21.9426° W
Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran parish church located in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðuholt. It is 74.5 meters or 244 ft tall and one of the largest structures in the country. You can see Hallgrímskirkja church from almost every nook and cranny in Reykjavík. It has become one of Iceland’s national treasures since it finished in 1986. Hallgrímskirkja is named after the Icelandic poet and cleric Hallgrímur Pétusson (1614-1674).
Designed by the state architect Guðjón Samúelsson and commissioned in 1937. It is said that he was influenced by the Icelandic landscape, for example the basalt columns of Svartifoss waterfall that is situated in Skaftafell in the Southern region of Iceland. It took 41 years to build the church: Construction started in 1945 and ended in 1986. The interior is 1,676 square metres (18,040 sq ft).
Architecturally, Hallgrímskirkja consists of three parts: The tower with the distinctly curved side wings which house service facilities, a nave in more traditional architecture, and a sanctuary at the other end of the nave, whose cylindrical shape has been described as evoking Viking war helmets.
The church houses a large pipe organ by the German organ builder Johannes Klais of Bonn with 5275 pipes, 15 metres (49 ft) tall and weighs 25 metric tons (25 long tons; 28 short tons). Its construction was finished in December 1992.
The church is also used as an observation tower. You are able to take a lift up to the viewing deck where you’ll get a 360° view of Reykjavík and the surrounding mountains. It costs around 1000kr. and it’s the best way for tourists to see all of Reykjavík.
The statue of explorer Leif Erikson (c.970 – c.1020) by Alexander Stirling Calder stands in front of the church. It was a gift from the United States in honor of the 1930 Althing Millennial Festival, commemorating the 1000th anniversary of the convening of Iceland’s parliament at Þingvellir in 930 AD.