Fara í efni

Víðimýri Turf Church

Víðimýri Turf Church was built in 1834 by Jón Samsonarson, a carpenter and member of parliament from Keldudalur. The church is open to visitors June 1st to August 31st, 12-6 p.m. every day, except Mondays, when it is closed.

A church was probably first built in Víðimýri soon after the country's conversion to Christianity. According to the oldest religious records from around 1318, a church in Víðimýri was dedicated to Mary the Mother of God and Peter the Apostle. Víðimýri Church is one of the very few turf churches that have been preserved in the country and is among the treasures in the Historic Buildings Collection of the National Museum of Iceland. The interior of Víðimýr Church bears witness to a deep-rooted tradition in the seating arrangement of Icelandic churches after the Reformation. Men sat on the south side of the church and women on the north side. The upper class people sat on the first few rows and the common people sat in the back.

There are various old objects in the church, some from older local churches. The altarpiece, with the year 1616, is probably Danish in origin and the central image shows the Last Supper. The text on the altarpiece reads: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes." (1 Cor. 11:26). The pulpit of the church is probably from the 17th century and the pictures on it are very badly damaged by the ravages of time. They show Christ in the center and the evangelists on both sides. The gate outside the church dates from 1936, but the church's clocks, which are situated in the gate, are from 1630. Many of the older artifacts of Víðimýri Church are now preserved in the National Museum of Iceland.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were doubts about the fate of Víðimýri Church, but Matthías Þórðarson, who was the director of the national museum at the time, took the lead in preserving it and saw to it that it came under the care of the National Museum. The church has been part of the Historic Buildings Collection of the National Museum of Iceland since 1936, and the Skagafjörður Heritage Museum has taken care of its preservation and operation according to a contract since 2016.

If you wish to visit the church outside the advertised opening hours, you should contact the Skagafjörður Heritage Museum at byggdasafn@skagafjordur.is or phone 453 6173.