Landakotskirkja, Reykjavik

4.1
#9 of 17 in Historic Sites in Reykjavik
Landakotskirkja, formally Basilika Krists konungs, is the cathedral of the Catholic Church in Iceland. Often referred to as Kristskirkja, Landakotskirkja is in the western part of Reykjavík, Iceland's capital city.ArchitectureLandakotskirkja has a distinctively flat top instead of a standard spire. Its architect was Guðjón Samúelsson, who also designed Hallgrímskirkja, a Reykjavik landmark, and Akureyrarkirkja in Akureyri, North Iceland.HistoryThe first Catholic priests to arrive in Iceland after the Reformation were the Frenchmen Bernard Bernard and Jean-Baptiste Baudoin. They bought the Landakot farmstead in Reykjavík and settled there in the early 19th century. They built a small chapel in 1864. A few years later, a small wooden church was erected by Túngata, close to Landakot. After the First World War, Icelandic Catholics saw the need to build a bigger church for the growing number of Catholics. They decided to build a Neo-Gothic church and entrusted the task to the architect Guðjón Samúelsson. After years of construction, Landakotskirkja was finally sanctified on 23 July 1929. It was the largest church in Iceland at the time. Today, Landakotskirkja is a distinct landmark in western Reykjavík. The only Catholic school in Iceland was located nearby on the same land.
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  • My wife and I hiked up the hill from the Parliament Building at mid-afternoon (maybe 10 minutes, as part of a trek to the National Museum) on a Thursday in January only to discover it to be closed. Bu...  more »
  • This church is off the beaten path and absolutely gorgeous! My husband and I admired the architecture inside and out. It was one of our favorite churches in Iceland.  more »
  • This church is not very far from the city center. Is very beautiful and is surrounded by nice gardens and a graveyard. Must visit.  more »
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