Ásatrú Pagans received aid from an unexpected source. Religious leaders in Thailand donated thousands of euros to the temple. “The gods are doing their work in a mysterious and inspiring way,” Pagan Chief Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson told Vísir. The group plans to begin crowdfunding later this year to finish construction. They hope to be a great attraction to visitors from abroad who are interested in ancient Norse culture. “I have always said this will be one of the major buildings in Reykjavík when it is finished,” Hilmar said.
The Ásatrú Temple is nearly complete, although it has gone over budget by 136 percent. Construction of the temple began in 2017, but was put on hold last year due to lack of funding.
The location turned out to be perfect. The City of Reykjavík provided the group with their initial site in 2006. Hilmar said that in retrospect, the location for the Ásatrú Temple proved quite suitable.
“We were originally supposed to be in Leynimýri, but that was not possible because of the airport. Then Vilhjálmur Þórmundur Vilhjálmsson descended on this location, which he said was really perfect. Here are all the names which are connected to Ásatrú. We have Hrafnabjörg right below us. We have Hangakletta, which is now one of the names of Óðin…So I think this is divine providence.”
The banking collapse also delayed construction. The group had hoped to begin construction in 2010 or 2011, but it did not begin until 2017. Also, the temple was initially set to cost 127 million ISK, but today it is valued at over 300 million ISK. Fortunately, the group has not borrowed any money from the bank. “Which may be beneficial when it comes up,” Hilmar says. “We have built with our own money, never borrowed.”
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