Gallery: Iceland’s Magnificent Modernist Churches

One of the first things that visitors to Reykjavik notice is the spaceship-looking church that dominates the skyline. Hallgrimskirkja (Hallgrim's Church) is impossible to miss, as it's by far the tallest building in Reykjavik. Although most tourists make a point of going to see this building, Iceland has a wealth of innovative modernist churches; most of which don't get much mention in guidebooks. The fact that there are so many modernist churches dotting the urban landscape—and so few older churches—was one of the main things that struck me about Iceland, architecturally. In other European countries (France, England, Germany, etc.), there are many old cathedrals built in traditional Gothic and Renaissance styles... so why does Iceland have so many sleek, modernist churches? I couldn't find any good answers, but here are a few thoughts:

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  1. George Jewitt December 29, 2012 at 9:36 am

    There’s a great modernist church in Riva del Garda in Northern Italy.

  2. Jill July 30, 2005 at 10:02 pm

    Hi Josh-

    Thanks for your interest in my photos. I have some large ones posted online at my photoblog:

    and the rest all posted on flickr:

  3. Josh July 28, 2005 at 3:17 am

    I would love to see larger versions of these images, for use as wallpaper and such! Are you by any chance putting photos from your trip up on Flickr?

  4. Brennen July 22, 2005 at 11:54 pm

    When I was in Iceland two years ago, I remember there being a resurgence in the ‘sod house’ concept of the Vikings in the more modern suburban developments. It’s more or less the same concept of the green roof, but here it has historical and practical significance. I don’t remember any specific examples that you could check out, but they dot the outskirts of Reykjavik.

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