On our recent trip to Iceland, we stayed in the capital city Reykjavik for a few days and were amazed at the wonderful street art and unique architecture.
In the past, street art was a more chaotic affair in the city but since a crackdown and a potential fine most street art are now created with the permission of the home or building owners. Sometimes it is also commissioned by a festival or organisation. Once such project is Wall Poetry, 10 musicians and 10 street artists working together on song interpretations on the buildings around the city.
As well as the amazing street art, Reykjavik has other artistic points of interest too such as the beautiful Hallgrímskirkja church, the Sea Voyager statue, the Harpa concert hall and the statue of the unknown official.
Hallgrímskirkj is the largest church in Iceland and is the main landmark as it’s elevated position can be seen from most places in the city. It was designed by Guðjón Samuel in 1937, and his inspiration was the shapes of lava when it cools in basalt rock. You can go to the top of the church and see the fantastic view over the city too.
Harpa the concert hall on the marina is a beautiful building inside and out. Its award-winning architecture by Olafur Eliasson, as well as the amazing concerts held there, have attracted more than 4 million people since it’s opening in 2011.
The building features a distinctive coloured glass facade inspired by the basalt landscape of Iceland. It also has two restaurants and a cool cocktail bar on the top floor with a great view of the marina.
A short walk from Harpa is the statue of the Sun Voyager – called Solfar. This steel sculpture by Jon Gunnar Arnason is thought to resemble a Viking ship, but is, in fact, is a dream boat and ode to the sun. A few minutes walk from Harpa along the seafront, take a stroll here to admire this work of art. The artist’s intention was to give the city something to inspire dreams and hopes.
The statue of the unknown official or unknown bureaucrat, by Magnus Tomasson situated near the city hall and Tjörnin pond is a humorous take on the monotony of the faceless working bureaucrat. It is positioned there as it is thought many city officials and council people would pass it on their way to work.
There are many more sculptures dotted around the city as well as the Einar Jónsson Sculpture Garden that we didn’t have a chance to go in. Reykjavik does modern art particularly well and some of the noteworthy modern art galleries include the 18 gallery for modern art, the Týsgallerí gallery and the Reykjavik art museum which has three venues in the city. If you are a lover of art and architecture Reykjavik is a must visit on your trip to Iceland.
Have you ever been to Iceland? Are you a lover of art and architecture like us?
Pin For Later