2022-05-29

Hvalsneskirkja Church – Iceland Photo Gallery

Documenting Iceland

by: Rafn Sig,-

Hvalsneskirkja er í Útskálaprestakalli í Kjalarnesprófastsdæmi. Steinsmiðirnir Magnús Magnússon frá Gauksstöðum í Garði og Stefán Egilsson reistu hana á árunum 1886-87 og sóknarpresturinn vígði hana á jóladag 1887.  Ketill Ketilsson, hreppsstjóri í Kotvogi og eigandi Hvalsnessjarðarinnar, lét reisa kirkjuna.  Húnn er hlaðin úr tilhöggnum steini.  Magnús Magnússon drukknaði veturinn 1887 og tók þá við verkinu Stefán Egilsson frá Reykjavík.  Magnús Ólafsson, trésmíðameistari úr Reykjavík, sá um tréverk. Kirkjan var tekin til gagngerra endurbóta 1945 undir umsjón Guðjóns Samúelssonar, húsameistara ríkisins.

Altaristaflan er eftirgerð af Dómkirkjutöflunni máluð af Sigurði Guðmundssyni árið 1886 og sýnir hún upprisuna.

Einn merkasti gripur kirkjunnar er legsteinn yfir Steinunni Hallgrímsdóttur sem dó á fjórða ári (1649). Hún var dóttir Hallgríms Péturssonar (1614-1674) mesta sálmaskálds Íslendinga sem þjónaði þá sem prestur í Hvalsnessókn, hans kona var Guðríður Símonardóttir. Hallgrímur Pétursson þjónaði á Hvalsnesi fyrstu prestskaparár sín 1644-1651.

The church at Hvalsnes on the western part of the Reykjanes Peninsula is somewhat revered by the Christian Icelanders. The longest serving priest in the Hvalsnes parish was Hallgrímur Pétursson, a much-loved hymn writer whose life has become a legend. Even though he served the parish long before the present church was built, the Icelanders tend to look on the church site as a kind of a holy place.

This humble, still impressive church was built from carved basaltic stones from the local area during 1886 and 1887. It was consecrated on Christmas Day 1887. The proprietor of the Hvalsnes estate that was also the project manager financed the building. The wood for the interior was driftwood, collected from the shores nearby.

One of the most precious artefacts in the church is a gravestone with the name of Steinunn Hallgrímsdóttir, who died at the age of four in 1649. Her father, the Reverend Hallgrímur Pétursson, made it. The gravestone was lost for ages but was discovered in 1964. It had been used as part of a walkway leading to the church.

Earlier, during the Catholic era in Iceland the Hvalsnes churches were dedicated to the Holy Mother, St. King Olaf, St. Catharine and all other saints.

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