Hallgrímskirkja can be seen from almost anywhere in Reykjavík, and if you’re new to the city, is an excellent landmark around which to orient yourself. It’s also an ideal place from which to see the city–for a reasonable fee, you can take an elevator to the top (well, almost to the top, there are a few flights of stairs involved) and get a 360° view of Reykjavík. I tried to go as close to sunrise as possible for the beautiful morning light and also because I wouldn’t have to plan my day around it the way I would if I aimed for sunset. What am I doing in the afternoon? Lots. What am I doing at the asscrack of dawn? Generally nothing. Plus, you know, if I’m going to be struck dead for crossing a church threshold, better to get it over with early in the day so my pile of smoldering ashes can make the evening news.
The elevator goes to the clock level, and I couldn’t help but peep through the grimy windows to get a sense of what I was in for once I climbed the remaining stairs. What I glimpsed was enough to get me to hop the stairs two at a time to get to the level with an unobstructed view.
Dang, Reykjavík, you’re beautiful. And Hallgrímskirkja, you’re a looker, too, inside and out. While I was back on the ground floor, I kept trying to get a peep of the stained glass that I knew was there, but all I could see was a sliver from around the enormous organ. So I sidled over to the elevator ticket seller and asked if there was any way I could go up to the floor where I could see the stained glass better. She led me to a side stair, and BAM: stained glass. And a replica of the church rendered in Lego!
I made sure to drop some extra cash in their donation basket on the way out as thanks for both the peep at the glass and also for the lack of smiting. My future making stupid jokes on the internet is, for now, secure.