The smallest church in Iceland

Under Lómagnúpur to the west is Núpsstaðarkirkja Church, the smallest turf church in Iceland. The first records of a church in Núpsstaðir date from 1340. The church that now stands is one of the oldest buildings in the country, built around the turn of the century 1600. Almost a hundred years ago, the National Museum of Iceland got the church for preservation. After 400 years, the church, of course, needed restoration, but the original foundation of the church is still there. The church is small, has room for about ten guests and a slender priest. Njáll’s Saga tells of Flosi Þórðarson’s dream that he dreams of a giant stepping out of the mountain Lómagnúpur, behind the church. The giant is on the Icelandic coat of arms and is one of four land guardians who defend Iceland against evil forces.

Vestur-Skaftafellssýsla 08/07/2021 15:55 35mm

Photograph and text : Páll Stefánsson