A Taste of Reykjavik

My greatest love in this beautiful city is of course the symbol of Reykjavik, Hallgrimskirkja (1937, 74,5 metres, and named after the Icelandic priest and writer Hallgrímur Pétursson.) by architect Guðjón Samúelsson. The church is spectacular in many ways – not only from the outside, but also the inside is serene and breathtakingly beautiful.

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We arrived late in the evening this time, and walked slowly up to her in the freezing cold, Icelandic darkness.

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In front of the church  stands the Leif Eriksson statue. A gift from the US 1930 when the Icelandic Parliament, AllÞingi, celebrated its 1000 year jubilée. The Viking Leif Eriksson was the son of Erik Röde, who settled in Greenland. Leif himself was the first white man to discover America.

Let us go inside. My greatest love here is the magnificent organ.

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Houses in Reykjavik have to be strongly built for the rough climate. Some old wooden houses are being restored to show the old architecture – on which of course the new one is built. But I doubt any new house here has a wooden structure.

What is difficult to see in these snowy pictures, is the typical Icelandic colourful houses. In my summer memories, Reykjavik looks like this:

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Tjörnin is the lake in the middle of the city. There are always people here, playing, feeding the birds, or just walking and chatting.

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The main shopping street ends with Hallgrimskirkja. And that is where we too end our snowy, first walk in Iceland and Reykjavik.


40 comments on “A Taste of Reykjavik

  1. That angle you used on the first photo is amazing! I thought it was a fabulous piece of architecture. My friends tell me that it doesn’t often snow in Rejkjavik, but it looks pretty snowy to me from your photos. Enjoy!

  2. Thanks so much for the tour of the city, Ann-Christine! Lovely, lovely photos. That first black and white image is amazing. Have a great week and stay warm!

  3. I find the photo of the parliament and cathedral interesting – the parliament building doesn’t look grandiose unlike in other European countries, unless I’m wrong 🙂 I like the Main Street View photo too…beautiful (but freezing) photos!

    • Kat, there are about 300 000 people in the whole country, (200 000 in Reykjavik) and they never build grandiose in size – except for Hallgrimskirkja!

      • Yeah, after sending that comment, I realised that Iceland is small in population, so that’s one of the reasons why they don’t have grandiose buildings.

  4. Such a magnificent church, Ann Christine, and the organ is amazing. I would love to hear it played. It looks really cold there, but I’m sure you’re far more used to cold weather than I am. I loved seeing the bird conference being held on the lake. 🙂

  5. It was perpetual daylight when we were there ….. and a dizzy 19deg C. Nice though to be reminded of a lovely city and a great country. My only fear is that it will get over run with tourists, it starting to get that way and some places are already showing signs of stress. But the country needs the income so I hope they reinvest in better infrastructure in the hot spots outside of Reykjavik. (on the hit list is a trip for the Northern Lights and frozen falls)

    • My fear is the same. With that much media exposure it must be inevitable. These few days we visited now there were not many though. I wondered how some people managed walking in thin stockings and light shoes…15 below zero and tough wind. At Gullfoss I thought my face would freeze off.

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