Visiting the tiny town of Raufarhöfn you might see the town church. It was built in 1927 by Guðjón Samúelsson. I like the simple wood architecture, unfortunately it was closed when I came here. If you want to see the lighthouse of Raufarhöfn, that I described in a previous blog post, you will pass by the church.
At the outskirts of Reykjavik you will find a very beautiful Open-Air Museum with old houses that were taken here and added to a farm building that stood here. The museum showcases the rural and city architecture of Iceland with an old city square, a farm complex and a fishing village. In the farm complex you will find the fourth turf church that I could visit during my visit to Iceland. As it is a museum, I could enter the church, and take some pictures to show you how a turf church looks like. Just remember that this turf church is a reconstruction of an old turf church that stood in the north of Iceland. As a local friend of mine explains in her interesting blog about turf houses on Guide to Iceland, timber is very rare in Iceland due to missing trees therefore it was reused from old buildings when they got abundant. Actually much timer that was used in Iceland originates from floating wood collected from the coasts. But that is another story. So if you are in Reykjavik I recommend you to check out the Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum for the turf church.
Number three of the turf churches that I want to share with you is the turf church Hofskirkja in Hof in the southern part of Iceland. According to the information board standing closeby the church, it was built in 1884. During my visit to Iceland I learned that there are different ways of constructing turf buildings. In the north many turf buildings are set up fully with turf layers, while in the south, like this church, layers of turf are set between layers of stones.
If you are interested in churches, in particular turf churches, you will certainly also come to visit the beautiful Víðimýrarkirkja in Skagafjörður. It is one out of six turf churches, that have remained on Iceland.
There is a long tradition of having a church in the place, but the current turf church dates back to 1834. According to the information board on the site, this church was the first historic building that was taken under the care of the Iclandic National Museum.
During my visit it was not allowed to go near the church, there was a sign restricting access so I was not able to take closeup photos of the building and grave yard, but I recommend to have a look at the pages of a friend of mine from Iceland, who intensively writes for the platform ‘Guide to Iceland‘. Thanks Regina for the effort you put into your pages about Iceland! Here is her page about the Víðimýrarkirkja.
Travelling Iceland you might pass by the beautiful turf church Grafarkirkja (Grave Church). It is located in the north of Iceland close to Holar and was built by the bishop of the town at the end of the 17th century. Nowadays turf churches are rare in Iceland, there are only six left. As you can see on the photo of the information board, the church was rebuilt in 1953. From all the four turf churches I have seen, this one is located the most scenic on a large pasture with mountains in the back. Have to say I enjoyed my short visit. Unfortunately the church itself was closed, but I think it is better to protect it.
You will find postings here also of the other three turf churches I have seen on Iceland under the tag #turfchurch.
On a trip through Norway a visit to a Stave Church is a must. I passed by a hand full and one of them is the beautiful wooden church in Ringebu. It was not allowed to take photos inside, that is why from my photos there is only a photo from the entrance door with the beautiful carvings (a little blurred as I was in a hurry between the people going in and out). I found that there is a panorama from the inside of the church on street view which I added at the end of the blog before the location. I hope you like it!
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