Leifur is lucky today

The tourist you see here taking a selfie with Leif the Lucky in front of Hallgrímskirkja, comes from New York City. Hallgrímskirkja is the largest church in the country and was designed by Guðjón Samúelsson. It took 41 years to construct or from 1945 to 1986. The statue of Leif is a gift from the Americans on the occasion of the Alþingi’s 1000th anniversary in 1930. The sculptor was Alexander Stirling Calder, who won a competition to recreate Leif the Lucky in 1929. Leifur Eiríksson, born in Dalasýsla in 980, was the first white man to sail the Atlantic and land in the Americas. Some historians say he sailed from Newfoundland all the way south to Manhattan, the home of Byron, the tourist in the picture.

Reykjavík 02/07/2021 11:09 20mm

Photograph and text Páll Stefánsson