Since the year 2000 the % of Icelanders in the Church of Iceland, which every Icelander is born into, has gone from 90% to just over 70%. That’s simply staggering given the context of religion in Iceland in the past. When I was a child a big part of my school schedule was studying Christianity, not religion. I, like other children here, studied it for seven years, once a week, every school year. Despite not believing in God (any of them), I do have a fondness for many elements of Christianity having read so much about it in the past. The thing I like most about Christianity in Iceland are the churches. We have over 330 churches spread around the country. While I do recommend you take a look at as many Icelandic churches as you can, if you’re ever in Iceland, these are definitely my favorites.
Built in 1894 this church fills me with warmth like no other church can. It’s located just south of the town of Blönduós and right by Svínavatn lake. It just feels cozy. If I ever get married in a church Auðkúlukirkja will be very high on that list.
A catholic church in the suburb of Reykjavík named Breiðholt, Maríukirkja is the funniest looking church I’ve been into. During my teenage years, I attended a school close to Maríukirkja and would often think as I walked by “I wonder where the first floor of the house is?” because that is 100% what it looks like. It looks like a rooftop with no building to support it.
While looking like a church designed by a toned-down Frank Gehry on the outside Bjarnaneskirkja gives me a strong WWII bunker vibe inside. If I were to film a picture in Iceland about a cult I’d film it in Bjarnaneskirkja. It’s north of Höfn í Hornafirði and right next to Route 1 so it’s easy to find.
Kapella slökkviliðsins á Keflavíkurflugvelli
This was originally a chapel for American soldiers who were stationed in a radio station in a remote town in Iceland. After the army left Iceland the chapel was moved to the Icelandic International Airport in Keflavík and is run by the airport fire department. In my eyes it is the most huggable house in Iceland.
The most modern church on this list by far. Built in 2002 in the town of Tálknafjörður in the Westfjords of Iceland. Tálknafjarðarkirkja captures everything I like in a modern church; elegance, respect for nature and a little bit of pomp.