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Thingvellir Church

Region: South Iceland
Coordinates: 64.2573494° N 21.1212259° W

According to documented sources, a church was built at Thingvellir shortly after the acceptance of Christianity in the year 1000. King Olaf the portly of Norway sent wood and a church bell as a present for a church at Thingvellir in the year 1015 according to Snorri Sturluson’s history of the Norwegian kings, Heimskringla.

The oldest cartulary of the church dates back to the latter part of the 14th century when it was dedicated to Olaf the wholly king of Norway. The present church was built and consecrated in 1859 and a new tower was built in 1907. It contains three bells, one old, another from 1697 and the third one was added on the 17th of June 1944, when the Icelandic republic was proclaimed on the Parliamentary Plains.

The church was repaired in 1973 and 1983. The pulpit dates back to 1683 and the altarpiece to 1834. In 1899, it was sold to the British artist, Disney Leith, who gave it to her church on the Isle of Wight. In 1974, the altarpiece was brought back to its church and was put by the side of the larger one painted by the Danish artist Anker Lund. In 1939, a round shaped honorary cemetery was consecrated behind the church. Only two poets rest there.

Saga trail South Iceland

Photo Credit: JD554

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