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  • Writer's pictureEinar Páll Svavarsson

The Catholic Chruch in Reykjavik

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

The catholic church in Reykjavík

Although Iceland has many churches all over the country almost all of them are churches of the Icelandic official religion, the Evangelical Lutheran Church. There are other churches and other religions, and one of them is the Catholic church in the Vesturbær district in Reykjavík. There are also other Catholic chapels around the country. The Catholic church/cathedral stands on the former farmland Landakotstún, an old farm purchased by the Catholic Church more than a century ago. This is the reason it was named Landakotskirkja although most often called Christ's Church.

Catholic Church in Iceland

Although Catholicism was not widespread in Iceland during the 19th century, as Reformation occurred in the 16th century, the Catholic church had many reasons to settle in Iceland at that time. At that time many fishermen from European Catholic countries did their fishing in Icelandic waters on the coast. In the early 20th century, after the First World War, it was decided to build a new church in Reykjavík Iceland. At the time it was a very ambitious project on any scale. The architect was Guðjón Samúelsson who more or less designed all important buildings at the time. He was the Housemaster of the State and took on the task around 1920. It almost took a decade to finish the church, and in July 1929 it was sanctified. After it was finished the Catholic Church was the largest building in Reykjavík.

One of the main landmarks in Reykjavík

The Christ's Church at Landakot is one of the main landmarks in Reykjavík. The location is just steps away from the town center. The building is beautiful on the outside and inside. The hospital on the other side of Túngata street was a Catholic hospital operated by Catholic nuns. It is now part of the Icelandic National Hospital.


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