Churches of Reykjavik Iceland

Iceland is known as the Land of Fire and Ice; a testament to both its weather conditions and contrasts between its traditions and modern culture. The people of Iceland are known for their peaceful nature and resilience to the extreme weather and conditions. While they still retain many of the culture’s ancient traditions today, the National Church, have development well with the people in Iceland.

churches Reykjavik Iceland

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland is also referred to as the National Church, as it is state-supported. With over 200,000 members, it is the largest Christian organization in Iceland. The church is located in Reykjavík and is headed by the Bishop of Iceland. The church has around 150 pastors, providing specialized traveling ministries and services for institutions and hospitals. It cooperates with eight other churches and is active in missionary work around the world.

90% of Icelanders are Lutheran and, of that group of people, 85% are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland.

catholic church of Iceland

Hallgrímskirkja Church

Hallgrímskirkja Church, part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, is one of Iceland’s main landmarks in Reykjavík. It can be seen from throughout the city. Guojón Samúelsson designed it in 1937 and construction began in 1945. The articulate tower was first to be completed, followed by the crypt, the steeple and wings, and finally the nave was consecrated in 1986. It is believed that Samúelsson’s vision for the church was to represent the bountiful terrain of Iceland’s landscape, from its highest mountains to its amazing glaciers. As the largest church in Iceland, it stands at 73 meters high (244 feet). Its remarkable gargantuan pipe organ, designed and constructed by Johannes Klais of Bonn, is 15 meters (19 feet) high and weighs 25 tons. It was added to the building in 1992. Directly in front of the church stands a statue of Leifur Eiriksson, designed by Alexander Stirling Calder. The statue was a gift from the United States in celebration of the 1930 Alpingi Millenial Festival.

Hallgrimskirkja church Reykjavik

@Jóhann H Ragnarsson

Catholic Church of Iceland

About 3% of the population in Iceland reports membership to the Catholic church. Catholicism was outlawed from the 1500s until the 1800s when freedom of worship was established. Today, the entire Icelandic Catholic community operates under the Diocese of Reykjavík, which is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church. It reports to the Holy See of Rome.


Landakotskirkja is also referred to as Kristskirkja, or Christ’s Church. It is located in Reykjavík and is a distinct landmark in the area. It was sanctified on July 23, 1929 after years of construction. At the time it was the largest church in Iceland, until Hallgrímskirkja was built in 1986. Interestingly, the two churches were designed by the same architect, Guojón Samúelsson. Landakotskirkja differs from other buildings because of its distinctive flat top.

catholic church Reykjavik Iceland

@Helgi Halldórsson

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