Hallgrimskirkja popularly known as the church of Hallgrimur is a Lutheran parish church in the city of Reykjavik in Iceland. This church is also known as the church of Iceland and very much sacred. It is the largest church in the history of Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural construction in Iceland. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and Clergyman Hallgrimur Petursson who is the renowned author of the passion Hymns. He influenced the nation’s spiritual development. This church was built in the time span of 38 long years and it was designed to resemble the Basalt lava flows of Iceland’s landscape. As this structure constructed in the center of Reykjavik due to which it is one of the best known landmark of the city and is also visible by the naked eye throughout the city.
The church is a magnificent art work in itself. It consists of mechanical actions which includes four manual sand pedal, 102 ranks, 72 stops and 5274 pipes into it. The church due to its height of 15 meters it is also used as an observation tower in Iceland. The surrounding mountains are clearly visible from this gigantic church. In 2008, the church had undergone a major restoration problem of the main tower and was covered by scaffolding but lately in 2009 it was removed as soon as the restoration process was accomplished.
The marvelous construction was designed and constructed by late Gudjon Samuel in 1937 who was often and generally inspired by the fascinating shapes and forms created usually when the lava used cools down into the basalt rock in his endeavors. There is a fine statue of Leifur Firiksson in front of the church which is predated by 15 years by now. Leifur was the first ever European to discover America and records show that he found it even before Christopher Columbus found America.
The Hallgrimskirkja has a stylish concrete exterior whereas the interior of this beautiful church is more of on the traditional front thought its modern yet Gothic style lines are reminiscent of ice formations and there is a resemblance to ice caves which are similar to smooth vaults. There is tiny little decoration in line with the Lutheran tradition. The most remarkable feature of interior of this church is the huge organ built in Germany in 1992. The bell tower which is an accessible escape via the elevator provides the best views in the city where the three bells in the town represents Hallgrimur, his wife and his daughter who die in a very young age.
The church of Hallgrimur has a capacity of 1200 people in the nave which was ideally situated in Skolavorduholt which was overlooking the Center of old Reykjavik. This church sets itself aside from others in the century because of the building and had the capability of serving the eastern part of the rapidly growing town. Iceland adopted Christianity in the thousand and was a part of the Roman Catholic Church. After the reformation in 16th century the Icelandic church became Lutheran and now 95% of the population of Icelandic land belongs to the Lutheran church.
Not only the exteriors and interiors, the church has some exciting features too. The main door into the sanctuary was designed by the artist named Leifur Breidfjord who is widely known for his glass windows which includes the Robert Burns memorial window in St. Giles Church in Edinburgh. The cost for installation of the organ called for a huge amount of funding and fund raising effort with the pipe sponsorship as the central feature of the campaign for the raising. The amount of donation was dedicated to the size of the pipe in the church and the person would receive a certificate in return of their actually donation made for the pipe. The other innovative way of raising funds was through selling CD of the inauguration concert and various Icelandic organic works played by the organist Hordur Askelsson. There are other CDs which are recorded for sale in church. Due to this innovation, there was a large number of audience gathering to watch the concert time to time and they used to take the opportunity to put in place a new seating arrangement in the nave.
The main objective of this church is to keep the precious artwork, the art which is owned by the church and the same work of the artists is to be exhibited who used to work with sacred art many non-cultural events and activities such as meeting and conferences used to take place all around the year in the church. The Icelandic Bible society also found its headquarters inside the church in 1815.The steeple by far is the best known and most visible of Reykjavik’s landmarks. It provides an unremarkable signpost to the visitors of the city. The steeple is open to the public by charging them a small amount of money if they are going to use the elevator which would proceed towards the maintenance of the church. As mentioned earlier the church has three main bells in the steeple and addition to it there is a carillon of 29 bells. The carillon is the first one and the church is the one out of the three churches in Reykjavik which chimes on the hour. The big bell of all carries the name of the father, Hallgrimur. Other two are named after the wife and the daughter named Gudrun and Steinunn. All the bells present in the church are gifts from individuals and groups and they are inscribed with the names of the donors denoted on it in the memory of the name of the person.