Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Monday, August 24- Finally, the Hallgrimskirkja

We hadn't seen the inside of the Hallgrimskirkja up to now although we'd passed it plenty of times.  Since we get lost easily, it was wonderful to have the church tower visible from so many places as a navigational aid.

The statue of Lief Ericson , by Alexander Calder, was a donation from the USA.

The first time we wanted to see the inside of the church, the nave was closed for a concert rehearsal.  (It was interesting to note that the handwritten sign in English said that the church "ship" was closed- the English word "nave", meaning the main part of the church with the altar, is derived form an old word for "ship" because typically a nave is shaped like the bottom of a ship.)  This time we were able to enter the nave and also go up into the tower and get an aerial view of Reykjavik.  It was a grey day but that also meant less competition for the elevator to the tower.

The church was named after Hallgrimur Petursson, a prolific writer of hymns including a cycle of Passion hymns.  Consturction began in 1945 but it wasn't completed until 1986.  The shape resembles the basalt lava flows common in the landscape and the changing light during the day makes it look different every time you see it.

Close-up of surface
Artwork you probably wouldn't see in an American church.

The beautiful, peaceful inside

Close-up of the canopy over the congregation
One of the few stained-glass windows.

The organ has over 5,000 pipes.

View of Reykjavik Airport from the tower.  All international flights, including ours, are in and out of Keflavik, about 40 km away. 

Later, as Ron relaxed in the room, I went off in search of good Icelandic yarn.  Icelandic wool is known for its warmth and durability- Icelandic sheep are pretty hardy!  Iceland is known for its beautiful knitwear and traditional patterns.  Hand-knit hats and sweaters were on the expensive side, of course, and I was very glad I know how to knit.

Hard choices- they even had raw wool so you could spin your own yarn!  I'm not that crafty and bought several skeins of the natural colors- white, ivory, brown and black- from Alafoss, a nearby town where yarn is a major industry.  I'll be making a hat that will certainly protect against Midwestern winters!

No comments:

Post a Comment