TIL about the turf churches of Iceland

This topic was suggested by the rotating series of topics that appear on my Microsoft Edge home page.

Looks very hobbit-eque, does it not?

A layer of grass spilled atop the church provides a beautiful landscape view. Located in the Öræfi region in South-East Iceland, Hofskirkja church is one of the many majestic turf churches of Iceland. The burial mounds masked beneath the surrounding grass seem to sneak through the surface. Only six turf churches are left in Iceland. Hofskirkja is the last of the old churches built in traditional turf style. After the original construction in 1884, Hofskirkja was restored in the 1950s by the National Museum of Iceland. It was deconsecrated in 1954. There has always been a church at this site, Hof in Öræfi, for 700 years. The oldest known written records of a church being established on this site are from a cartulary, a medieval document from 1343. The church is made of timber structure surrounded by stone walls while the roof is made of stone slabs, giving it a robust structure that is standing still for centuries. The stone slabs draped in a cloak of greenery prevent the heat from escaping into the cold air of the mountainous landscape. Unlike other churches of Iceland, Hofskirkja is still a practicing parish. 

Looks as if it’d be warm and toasty nestled between glaciers and the North Atlantic.

Find out more here.

Hofskirkja church is one of the many majestic turf churches of Iceland.

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