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Vatnsfjordur Church

Region: Westfjords
Coordinates: 65.940589° N 22.499978° W

This church belongs to the Vatnsfjordur benefice in the Isafiord deanery. Farm Vatnsfiord is an ancient manor, a historic site, a church site and a parsonage from the 16th century on a synonymous cove between the Mjoifiord Bay and Cove Isafiord. The prayer chapels at Reykjanes and Skalavik were annexed to the parish. In 1907 the parishes of Nauteyri and Unadsdalur were united with the Vatnsfiord parish. The Unadsdalur Church was, however, served from Island Vigur and later Grunnavik to 1928. The Ogur parish was added in 1970 making the Vatnsfiord parish one of the largest in the country and among the most difficult ones to travel. The church at Melgraseyri on the Langidalur Coast was added to its annexes, but was deconsecrated shortly before the turn of the last century. Very few people live in this large parish nowadays. The Catholic churches of Vatnsfiord were dedicated to the Holy Olaf, king of Norway. The churches stood inside a large, round shaped cemetery until the twenties, when the cemetery was reshaped and made square.

The present concrete church was built in 1911-12. It has a steeple with space for the choir and seats about 60 persons. The old churches were well built and owned objects of value, which have somehow vanished. Some of the artefacts still exist in museums. Most of those things date back to the Middle Ages and are of foreign origin. Rev. Hjalti Thorsteinsson made the crucifix and the altarpiece is a Danish painting depicting the ascension and the year 1860. The baptismal font, donated to the church in 1957, was made by goldsmith Gudjon Bernardsson and the German Wilhelm E. Beckmann.

WESTFJORDS & STRANDIR SAGA TRAILS

Photo Credit: Kirkjukort.net

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