Reykjavik

Iceland’s capital has a good reputation, which it lived up to, as a funky and picturesque place, helped by some near perfect weather on my first day there.

I stayed by the iconic Hallgrimskirkja Church, one of the tallest buildings in the city, which offered great views to help get my bearings.

The interior of the church was sparse but light filled.

Across the road is the Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden, which felt very Nordic in style, reminded me of sculptures I’d seen in Oslo.

The Pond was a gorgeous spot, with a wonderful combination of beautiful buildings on the far side, and natural beauty in between.

The City Hall was a striking building on The Pond. I loved the exterior, while inside was a giant topographical model of the island.
Close by is Hólavallagarður cemetery, one of the largest in the country and certainly the most historic in terms of the number of notable Icelanders buried there. It was a tranquil tree filled spot.

Nearby is the sizeable Catholic Cathedral which inspired the building of the Hallgrimskirkja Church. The Catholics couldn’t have a church larger than the Lutheran’s, particularly as a relative minority in Iceland.

The actual Lutheran Cathedral is relatively small and understated, but still rather beautiful, and wooden unlike the other two built of concrete.

It is by the Parliament, where in 2008 protests took place outside in Austurvöllur square, commemorated by the split rock.

Close by is the Landnamssningin Settlement Museum, home to the remains of a thousand year old meeting hall, and a 360 degree vista of how Reykjavik would have been at that time. A small but interesting museum.

The National Museum of Iceland was much larger, and also covered the settlement of Iceland, along with everything that followed to the modern day. Nicely presented if not an essential visit, but the ticket also lets you into the eclectic collection of the Culture House.

The boat filled harbour and waterfront was worth an explore.

Also on the waterfront is the wonderful Harpa concert hall, which I’ll cover in a seperate post, but here’s a taster.Reykjavik has a large number of heritage buildings, which are always of interest to me. In general though the architecture is a real mix of the hideous and attractive, due to a near complete absence of planning regulations.

To end the post with more views of the city, from the free observation deck at the Oskjuhlio silos / Perlan, huge tanks built for the geothermal heating system that provides hot water across the city.

3 thoughts on “Reykjavik

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