Interesting facts about Hallgrímskirkja


Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland.

It is one of the largest and finest churches in Iceland.

Situated in the center of Reykjavík, it is one of the city’s best-known landmarks.

The church is 74,5 meters (240 feet) high and is visible from almost any point in the city.


It is the tallest building in Reykjavík, the sixth tallest structures in Iceland.

Hallgrímskirkja was designed by the State Architect of Iceland, Guðjón Samuelsson in 1937. He is said to have designed it to resemble the trap rocks, mountains and glaciers of Iceland’s landscape.

It took 41 years to build the church: construction started in 1945 and ended in 1986, but the landmark tower being completed long before the whole church was completed.

The interior is 1,676 square meters (18,040 square feet).


The church features, most notably, a gargantuan pipe organ designed and constructed by the German organ builder Johannes Klais of Bonn.

The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614–1674), author of the Passion Hymns. Passion Hymns are a collection of 50 poetic texts. The texts explore the Passion narrative, as traditionally presented, from the point where Christ enters the Garden of Gethsemane to his death and burial.

The statue of explorer Leif Erikson (c.970 – 1020) by Alexander Stirling Calder in front of the church predates its construction. It was a gift from the United States in honor of the 1930 Althing Millennial Festival, commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Iceland’s parliament at Þingvellir in 930 AD.