Saturday, May 30, 2009

Grafarkirkja

This is the oldest church in Iceland, and is also among the smallest. The current building is thought to date back to the 17th century, but there has been a church or chapel in this spot for much longer.

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The church is in the care of the National Museum of Iceland, but stands on private land, in the middle of a hayfield. It's a short walk over the field to the church from the parking lot. The church is open to all, and there is a guestbook on the altar. It is located in Skagafjörður, on the eastern side, by the road to Siglufjörður, shortly before you reach Hofsós.


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The church seen closer to.


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Macro of the church bell. It was cast in 1720.


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Close up of one of the baroque-style eaves. Baroque decorations are very rare in Icelandic churches. The eaves and the altar are believed to have been carved by Guðmundur Guðmundsson from Bjarnastaðahlíð in Vesturdalur, by commission from Mrs. Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir and her husband, bishop Gísli Þorláksson.


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A look inside the church.


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The carved altar.


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I think this is a painting of Ragnheiður Jónsdóttir. It hangs in the church. Her image graces the Icelandic 5000 króna banknote.


Finally, here are some images of the decorative hardware on the church:
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