Tuesday, March 21, 2023
HomeIceland TravelThe tiny Tungufellskirkja church and the Tungufellkross Crucifix upcountry in S-Iceland

The tiny Tungufellskirkja church and the Tungufellkross Crucifix upcountry in S-Iceland


I go to all of the church buildings I see on my travels in Iceland and generally exit of my method to go to a rustic church. These church buildings are little gems to me and I’ve visited near 94% of the approx. 360 church buildings in Iceland.

And, lastly, I visited Tungufellskirkja church, which I had needed to go to for a few years however in some way had at all times been ignored.

Inside Tungufellskirkja church

On this previous church 2 of the oldest church bells within the Northern international locations will be discovered, made earlier than 1200.

I had been desirous to see these church bells and had been which means to go to this church for a decade, nevertheless it wasn’t till the summer time of 2022 that we made a particular journey to this space in South Iceland to pay Tungufellskirkja a go to

Tungufellsfaldbúningurinn nationwide costume

There is just one service a 12 months held at Tungufellskirkja church – within the summertime, however once I was studying up on the church I noticed which you can get a guided tour of the church.

So I contacted Elín Jóna the farmer at Tungufell, the innermost farm in Hrunamannahreppur, and booked steerage of the small church at Tungufell for a small payment. 

What I did not know is that for guided excursions Elín places a model contained in the church, dressed within the nationwide costume, faldbúningur, which Elín had made.

So I received fairly startled once I had a peek contained in the church when my husband notified Elín that we had arrived 🙂

I felt like I had stepped again in time, which was fairly beautiful 🙂

Contained in the small Tungufellskirkja church

Tungufellskirkja church was inbuilt 1856-1857 by Sigfús Guðmundsson and has been within the possession of the Nationwide Museum since 1987.

Tungufellskirkja church could be very small, solely 22 sq.m., and seats 30. It’s considered one of Iceland’s smallest church buildings however not the smallest church in Iceland, as Núpsstaðakirkja turf church is smaller.

The inside of the church is straightforward however lovely. The pulpit was made and painted by Ófeigur Jónsson for a turf church that was erected in 1831 just like the altar and different issues within the church. 

An previous candleholder dates again to 1871. It was put in by the pulpit.

An previous hymn board contained in the church

You’ll discover an previous wood field within the church, more than likely made by Ófeigur for the previous church in 1831.

The previous hymn board in Tungufellskirkja church would possibly date again to that point as nicely.

The attractive altarpiece in Tungufellskirkja church

The altarpiece was painted by Brynjólfur Þórðarson in 1915 and is a reproduction of an altarpiece in St. Nikolai church in Holbæokay, Denmark 

Matthías Þórðarson, director of the Nationwide Museum, donated the altarpiece to the Tungufellskirkja church when the altar cross got here into the possession of the Nationwide Museum. You could find the altar cross on the Nationwide Museum.

Tungufellskrossinn – the Cross of Tungufell

Tungufellskrossinn is on show on the Nationwide Museum of Iceland

The previous enameled altar crucifix, Tungufellskrossinn, was in Tungufellskirkja church till 1915 when it was donated to the Nationwide museum.

It was more than likely made in Limoges in France round 1180-1220.

The crucifix was at one time additionally in Skálholtskirkja cathedral and the small however lovely Mosfellskirkja church in Grímsnes. 

Tungufellskrossinn crusifix

To the best above my head in my second photograph, you may see a photograph of the previous enamel cross which was final in Tungufellskirkja. It was donated to the Nationwide Museum in Iceland in 1915.

I visited the Nationwide Museum to see the Tungufellskrossinn altar cross however noticed that it was wrongly marked, so I despatched them a message. Nothing occurred for months, so I pointed this error out to one of many workers on the museum throughout considered one of my visits to the museum.

Valþjófsstaðaskrínið and Tungufellskrossinn

The knowledge is right in Sarpur – Tungufellskrossinn, other than the data on “spjaldtexti” which is the data on the museum itself in Icelandic.

I hope that this shall be mounted quickly, as I want the data on the Nationwide Museum to be right as I depend on it for my research and travel-blogs.

I go to the museum ceaselessly as I like to attach the artifacts on the museum to my travel-blog and present you photographs of the previous artifacts which was within the previous church buildings, f.ex. on the bishopric at Hólar and at Skálholt.

A photograph of the Tungufellskross crucifix hangs on the wall of Tungufellskirkja

Beneath the ft of Christ on the cross you will notice Abraham rising from his grave. And to the left of Christ is the Virgin Mary and the Apostle John. Angles beautify the cross on high and beneath Abraham.

You will notice extra photographs of the cross at Sarpur. Discover how the cross is totally totally different on the bottom, it appears to be like like a unique cross.

There are solely two crosses like this left, Tungufellskrossinn and Draflastaðakrossinn – see photographs in Sarpur – Draflastaðakross.

The oldest bells in a church in Iceland

The Tungufellsklukkur church bells

Two of the oldest beehive copper church bells within the Nordic world are to be discovered within the small Tungufellskirkja church. They date again to earlier than the 12 months 1200.

I discover it superb that such previous church bells are present in a small nation church in Iceland.

Right here you may hearken to the sound of the previous church bells: https://www.kirkjuklukkur.is/sudurprofa…/tungufellskirkja/


Inside Tungufellskirkja

I booked a guided tour of the church and Elín Jóna, who lives at Tungufell, advised us the historical past of the church and confirmed us this lovely nationwide costume, faldbúningur, which she made with patterns from the church.

For guided excursions, Elín Jóna brings her nationwide costume to the church.

The steerage is round ISK 1,000 per particular person

With the creator of the “faldbúningur” – I used to be having a nasty hair day 😉

Elín Jóna guided us and advised us concerning the faldbúningur which she produced from 2013-2017 with previous patterns from the church.

Discover how the sample within the belt matches the sample within the altar, and the sample within the bodice matches the sample across the altarpiece.

The Icelandic faldbúningur is made with patterns from the Tungufellskirkja church

The nationwide costume faldbúningur is an older sort of nationwide costume.

It was worn by Icelandic ladies from across the seventeenth century till the mid-Nineteenth century. 

Stunning embroidery

Patterns from the altar are embroidered within the skirt of the Tungufells faldbúningur. 

It was Jóna’s thought to make use of the patterns within the previous woodwork at Tungufellskirkja church, for her nationwide costume.

The flower sample on one aspect of the altar

The flower sample on the aspect of the altar. The pulpit and the altar and the body across the altarpiece had been made and painted by Ófeigur Jónsson.

He had constructed a turf church in 1831 and the artifacts had been made for that church. 

Stunning decorations on the Tungufells faldbúningur.



Tungufellskirkja church

The skinny iron cross on high of the towerless Tungufellskirkja church was made by Jón Árnason from Eyrarbakki.

Jón Árnason additionally made the church iron gate.

The knowledge signal from our Nationwide museum by Tungufellskirkja, however the church has been within the possession of the museum since 1987, as I discussed earlier.

Tungufellskirkja church is farthest away from the ocean of Iceland’s church buildings, 58 km from Hvalfjörður bay.

We had been alone within the valley and explored it a bit additional, however on the other aspect of the river Hvítá, there’s a visitors jam as there one can find the preferred waterfall in Iceland, Gullfoss waterfall.

Gullfoss waterfall as seen from the “different” aspect

The Majestic Gullfoss – Iceland’s Golden Waterfall, which provides a Identify to the Golden Circle

You may as well drive a bit additional into the valley and go to Gullfoss from this aspect as I did once I joined The Secret Circle of Iceland – the Golden Circle with a really nice twist.



Should you go to Tungufellskirkja church you’ll cross the Brúarhlöð gorge on a bridge crossing the Hvítá river. That is the third bridge over the gorge as 2 of them received washed away by the sheer pressure of the glacial river.

Do cease and take a look at Brúarhlöð. There’s a car parking zone in your right-hand aspect and you may both stroll straight right down to the river with an incredible view of the rock formations.

Brúarhlöð rock formations

Or you may stroll just a little bit additional on a slim path and take a look at them from above. 

Right here the pressure of the glacial river has fantastically formed the rocks, that are made from Breccia (þursaberg).

River rafting is in style right here and you’ll even get an opportunity to leap into the ice-cold glacial river.






Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments