Landakotskirkja (Landakot Church)
Landakotskirkja (Landakot Church) Reykjavik Reviews
Landakotskirkja (Landakot Church) or Kristskirkja (Christ's Church) Oct 11, 2010
Landakotskirkja (Landakot Church) or Kristskirkja (Christ's Church) is one of Iceland's Landmarks and monuments. Located downtown Reykjavik, the church stands elevated at an altitude. The imposing Landakotskirkja church was originally known as the 'Basilica of Christ the King' (Basilika Krists Konungs). Mark and I, decided to visit the church on our last day in Reykjavik. It was a gloomy morning considering we had had 3 days of pretty clear and sunny skies. It was cloudy, almost gray and the wind was brisk yet chilly. We left the Radisson hotel and headed west then uphill. From the hotel it was a little less than a ten minute walk. Seeing as it was Monday morning, the church was empty. A couple walked out as we arrived. There was a lady inside saying her prayers so we did not stay long to interrupt her prayers.
History records that the first Catholic priests to arrive in Iceland after the Reformation were the Frenchmen Bernard Bernard and Jean-Baptiste Baudoin. To settle in, they purchased land in Landakot and made large farms. In the early 19th century upon arrival, they built a small chapel which later was moved by Túngata, close to Landakot. Construction of the now Christ's Church was completed in 1929 and at the time it was Iceland's biggest church in existence, serving the local Roman Catholic community.
Today, Landakotskirkja remains a landmark and an architectural stronghold from it's time. The square structure has an usually flat top for what would be a cathedral. The church is Neo-Gothic church and has a more conservative style than Samuelsson's other creations but still has clear modern elements and glacier-inspired lines. The interior is traditionally Gothic, with a patterned tile floor and no aisles or transepts.The interior of the church is much smaller in comparison to the exterior. It is so much bigger from the outside. On the north facing side, a small grave yard exists, right where the alter is set.
On the same grounds where the church stands is a beautiful green and white set of structures: it is the only Catholic school in Iceland, Landakotsskóli. This is definitely on of Iceland's landmarks, worth taking as look at. I recommend it.
Part of the Iceland 2010 travel blog
Part of the list Sacred & Religious Destinations
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