Pictured here is probably the best-known landmark in Reykjavík, and perhaps the most Instagrammed one, too. The church Hallgrímskirkja is named in honour of Iceland’s most prominent writer of religious poetry, Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614-1674). The older image dates from 1969, when the church was in its 24th year of construction; in all, it would take 41 years to complete, and was finally open to the public in 1986. Its architect was the state architect Guðjón Samúelsson, who’s also responsible for The University of Iceland’s main building, the National Theatre, Hótel Borg and more. Hallgrímskirkja was controversial from the start, inspiring one annoyed poet to write a poem ending thus (roughly translated): “State architect, no more, no more.”
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