HallgrÝmskirkja Lutheran Church is a well-known landmark, towering over ReykjavÝk, the capital of Iceland. It is named after the poet and clergyman HallgrÝmur PÚtursson (1614-1674), who was also a famous poet and wrote the well know PassÝusßlmar hymns. It is 75 meters tall, making it the largest church in Iceland.
The church is designed to resemble the basalt rock formations, found in several places in Iceland, for example by Svartifoss Waterfall in Skaftafell National Park, where one can clearly see where the inspiration came from. The architect of the church was Gujˇn Sam˙elsson (1887 - 1950), one of Iceland's most influential architects and actually the first Icelander to be educated as an architect. HallgrÝmskirkja proofed to be his last work but traveling the country you are likely to see some of his works like Akureyri Church, The National Theater, University of Iceland, HÚraskˇlinn, a school at Laugarvatn, to name just a fraction of his work.
Construction of the church started in 1945 and it was finally completed in 1986. The church tower offers is an amazing view of the city that should not to be missed. A short elevator trip to the top of the tower is highly recommended. In front of HallgrÝmskirkja stands a statue of Leifur EirÝksson, also known as Leif the Lucky, who is believed to have been the first European to set foot on the North American continent, about 500 years before Columbus.
The church is located on Skˇlav÷ruholt Hill in central Reykjavik and is difficult to miss, as it is actually a good reference point when traveling around Reykjavik and can be seen from far away.