Buildings and Monuments

Landakotskirkja ('Landakot's Church') has become a distinct landmark of western Reykjavic.

Established in the early 19th century following the Reformation, Frenchmen Bernard Bernard and Jean-Baptiste Baudoin were the first Catholic priests to arrive in the country, purchasing the Landakot farmstead. Here they built a chapel and a church but after World War I and the continuous increase of Catholics it became apparent a bigger church was going to be needed.

Architect Guðjón Samúelsson was given the job, at the community's request for a Neo-Gothic church. This explains its comparatively conservative style and distinctive flat top in place of a spire. When it was finally sanctified in July 1929 after years of construction, it was at the time the largest church in Iceland.

Today it is still a place of worship with regular mass held in Icelandic and Latin, accompanied by booklets in English and Polish.

Not only is this a beautiful place to admire the architectural design inside and out, it is a great place to meet friendly locals if you have time to stop by a service.

Photo credit: Flickr

Lars Juhl Jensen

Ben Husmann

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Landakot, Reykjavik, Iceland, Reykjavik-Centre

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