Historic Skálholt Church In Disrepair - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Historic Skálholt Church In Disrepair

Published March 20, 2017

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Diego Delso/Creative Commons

A site of historic cultural importance, Skálholt Cathedral, is in disrepair and in need of up to 70 million ISK to fix the damages, reports RÚV.

Once Iceland’s largest city, Skálholt served as Iceland’s cultural and political centre for roughly eight centuries.

The cathedral that stands in Skálholt now, which is suffering from neglect, was built in the 1960’s as a part of the millennial celebrations of the episcopal see.

The stain glass windows made by artist Gerður Helgadóttir are considered especially beautiful but are quite damaged.

“The rain is to blame for some of it,” said Drífa Hjartardóttir, Chairman of the Skálholt Church Board. “And the two earthquakes back in 2000 and 2008 have most certainly damaged the building, causing cracks that contributed to the water damage.”

As the congregation is very small, there aren’t enough funds to cover the repairs. The church board has also sought grants from Iceland’s Cultural Heritage Agency but they will not cover the costs either.

Drífa hopes that by appealing to the public they will manage to raise enough to bring the church back up to an acceptable standard.

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