Thursday, May 24, 2012


Dominating the skyline in Reykjavik in Iceland is the Hallgrimskirkja. The design was commissioned in 1937 and the church was built between 1945 and 1986.

In front of the church is a statue of Leif Ericson, who was the first European to land in North America in about the year 1001. The statue was presented to Iceland in 1930 by the U.S.A:

Here is a photo of the church and the statue:


  1. Strength. Bravery. Elevation of the spirit.

    Such blasphemy.

    I am proud to be among the heretics of modern society.

  2. I dunno. The church has that very (specifically) dated, art decco 30's look. Kinda like the Empire State building in NYC. More likely a symbol of most of what's wrong than of anything possibly going right.

  3. Anon, a good strong positive comment, thanks.


    Yes, the church is designed in a more modernist style, and maybe that does indicate a shift toward where we are now. But even so, seen at its best, the Hallgrimskirkja photographs well, I think. It retains the dual effect that more traditional cathedrals have, of solidity combined with a soaring spire.

  4. I like that dated 1930s art deco look. Art deco was (generally speaking) cheerful and positive and optimistic. In stark contrast to the soulless dead "International" style that swept the world of architecture a few decades later.

  5. It strikes me as being cold, foreboding and rather threatening. It curves upwards like a sword.... but it is very striking, as some modernist art can be. Interesting to read other's reflections though.

  6. The whole presentation is somewhat soviet

  7. hmmmmm...

    It is very 1930s which gives off the "soviet" vibe simply because so many Soviet monuments were built in this period.

    Personally I think it looks very Icelandic. suits the sparse landscape better than a Gothic pile would.

    Ice BTW after having a the greatest bank collapse proportional to the size of the economy of any country ever has got back on its feet and is doing rather well compared to similar small economies in the EU.

    Well done to them.