MEET OUR NEIGHBOURS
Kvosin’s unique location
makes it the perfect place for any city explorer.
DOWNTOWN CITY PARK
The Austurvöllur square is considered the centre of the downtown area. It is a popular gathering spot, especially during sunny summer days. Some visitors sit on the grass to enjoy a picnic while others visit the surrounding restaurants and cafés, which get packed on a nice day.
In Austurvöllur you will find a statue of Jón Sigurðsson, the leader of Iceland’s independence movement. Independence Day is held on June 17, Jón’s birthday.
In December, the traditional ceremony of lighting up the Christmas tree at Austurvöllur marks the beginning of the season for many locals.
THE SMALLEST CATHEDRAL
Reykjavík’s Lutheran Cathedral was inaugurated in 1796 and is now the seat of the bishop in Iceland.
Many traditional events take place in the little cathedral, such as the setting of the Parliament each season and the inauguration of the Icelandic president. It holds a special place in the lives of the Icelandic people.
The Cathedral is open weekdays from 10:00 to 15:00 and for ceremonies during weekends.
THE WORLD'S OLDEST PARLIAMENT
The original building was inaugurated on July 1st 1881, but two annexes have been added to the building. The garden of Parliament House is Iceland’s oldest public garden.
Every fourth year by secret ballot the electorate chooses 63 representatives to sit in the Parliament. Founded in 930 at Þingvellir, now a national park, the parliament is called Alþingi and is known as the oldest surviving Parliament in the world.
CULTURE AND ARCHITECTURE
Reykjavík City Hall is on the northern shore of Lake Tjörnin. It opened in 1992 and houses the mayor and other executive officials of Reykjavík. The building is deliberately designed to attract bird life to the centre of town. A perennial favourite in the exhibition hall is the huge 3D map of Iceland. The map provides a unique perspective of the entire island with its many volcanoes, mountains, craters, fjords and glaciers.
CONCERT AND EXHIBITION HALL
Harpa Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre has become one of the city’s most distinguished landmarks since its opening in 2011. The building has received international awards for its architecture, concert halls and conference facilities. Visited by over four million guests, Harpa houses two restaurants, several gift shops and weekly jazz concerts on the top floor. Make the most of a visit to Harpa and take advantage of the guided tours offered daily.
ICELAND'S LARGEST CHURCH
At 74.5 metres (244 ft) high, it is the largest church in Iceland and among the tallest structures in the country. It is one of the city’s best-known landmarks and is visible throughout the city. The church also serves as an observation tower where it’s possible to ride an elevator to the top for an unforgettable view of Reykjavík. The church’s front courtyard boasts an impressive statue of the Norse explorer Leif Erikson, the first European to land in North America.
The steel sculpture by the seaside is described as a dreamboat, or an ode to the sun. The artist intended it to convey the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom. It is one of the most visited sights in the capital. The Sun Voyager was the winning piece in a competition to celebrate Reykjavik’s 200 year anniversary in 1990. It offers a superb photo opportunity, especially when the sun is setting.