Finally The Church Bells Of Hallgrímskirkja Will Toll Once Again - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Finally The Church Bells Of Hallgrímskirkja Will Toll Once Again

Published October 23, 2017

Elías Þórsson
Photos by
Helgi Halldórsson

Since last year the church bells of the Reykjavík landmark Hallgrímskirkja have remained silent, but now, a year later will chime once again, reports Vísir.

In August 2016, the bells malfunctioned, which meant that the people of downtown could no longer enjoy timekeeping and daily concertos that traditionally have boomed from the clocktower. Work on fixing the bells has been ongoing since January.

“We are in the test phase,” Jónanna Björnsdóttir, the director of Hallgrímskirkja said. “We have tuned the bells, but we are still working on making them perfect.”

The Dutch to the rescue

The bells were sent to the Netherlands were they were probably worked on by the finest smiths in all the land. As we know the Dutch are known for their meticulous, if slow workmanship. They are after all the founders of all manner of guilds.

“It took three, four months to look into what was wrong. Some parts were completely broken and had to be replaced, for instance the main computer controlling the bells” said Jónanna. “There are three bells in the tower as well as a carillon used to play tunes.”

Last Wednesday, the first test tones emanated from the tower and Jónanna said it was “wonderful.” The bells ring every fifteen minutes, with longer ringing on the hour.

iPlay church bells

Hörður Áskelsson is in charge of the ringing as well as the church’s cantor and he claims to be very pleased with the bells being fixed. Not only were the bells fixed, but now, thanks to the magic of smartphones, he can control the music through an app on his phone.


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