Hallgrímskirkja

Reykjavík, Iceland

Hallgrímskirkja

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Hallgrímskirkja (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈhatl̥ˌkrimsˌcʰɪr̥ca], Church of Hallgrímur) is a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 74.5 metres (244 ft) tall, it is the largest church in Iceland and among the tallest structures in the country. Known for its distinctively curved spire and side wings, it has been described as having become an important symbol for Iceland's national identity since its completion in the 1980s. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and cleric Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614–1674), author of the Passion Hymns.

Situated on the hilltop Skólavörðuholt near the centre of Reykjavík, the church is one of the city's best-known landmarks and is visible throughout the city. State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson's design of the church was commissioned in 1937. He is said to have designed it to resemble the trap rocks, mountains and glaciers of Iceland's landscape, in particular its columnar basalt "organ pipe" formations (such as those at Svartifoss). The design is similar in style to the expressionist architecture of Grundtvig's Church of Copenhagen, Denmark, completed in 1940, which has been described as a likely influence, alongside the expressionist Kirche am Hohenzollernplatz in Berlin, Germany (completed in 1933).

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