One of the city’s most unique landmarks, Akureyrarkirkja, or Akureyri Church, is perched on a hilltop above the town center and serves as the town’s most important Lutheran church, renowned for its striking, futuristic façade. The innovative design is the work of architect Guðjón Samúelsson, the Iceland State architect whose bold designs include the equally impressive Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík, and its geometrical twin towers are said to have been inspired by the natural rock formations of Iceland’s Svartifoss waterfall.
Since its completion in 1940, Akureyrarkirkja has become a memorable symbol of Akureyri, but its not only the church exterior that demands attention - the interiors are equally arresting, including an exquisite stained glass window that once belonged to England’s now-ruined Coventry Cathedral. Additional highlights include the Icelandic spar tiling, a series of reliefs by sculptor Asmundur Sveinsson, a Nordic ship suspended from the ceiling beams and a 3,200-pipe organ.
Akureyrarkirkja is located on Eyrarlandsvegur in central Akureyri, a short walk from the waterfront and the nearby Lystigardur Botanical Garden. Visitors are permitted Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 10 p.m., with Sunday services held at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. depending on the time of year and a Thursday prayer service. Entrance is free but donations are welcome.