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Eyrarbakkakirkja - church

The church in Eyrarbakki was inaugurated in December of 1890. Before that, the people of Eyrarbakki attended services in the neighboring village of Stokkseyri, but as the population of Eyarbakki grew, reaching 702 in 1890, it was time for Eyrarbakki to have its own church. The church seats 230-240 people.

The church of Eyrarbakki’s main proponent was the Reverend Jón Björnsson, and he was pastor of the church from its opening until 1892. The church was designed by Jóhann Fr. Jónssyni, the chief carpenter in Eyrarbakki from 1880 to 1890, but he died before the church’s completion.

One of the main points of interest is the church’s alterpiece, on which is painted a picture of Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (John 4, 13-14). “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, he will never be thirsty.” The Reverend Jón Björnsson sailed to Denmark to obtain building materials for the church, and while there he was given an audience with King Christian IX and Queen Louise. They liked him so well, that the queen gave him the church altar, which she herself had painted. The altarpiece bears her name and the year 1891. 

Other items of interest are the candlesticks from Kaldaðarneskirkja, the church in Kaldaðarnes, which was closed in 1902. The candlesticks, inscribed with the year 1780 and the letters E.S.S. Stjakarnir, are clearly Icelandic craftsmanship and all hand-made. The chandelier also comes from Kaldaðarneskirkja. In 1918, a bell was added in the tower, which rang twice an hour. It was a gift from the Danish merchant James A. Lefolii in memory of the many decades of the Lefolii family in Eyrarbakki.

Extensive renovations to the church were carried out from 1977 to 1979. A new 11-pipe organ by Björgvin Tómasson was put into service on Christmas day, 1995.

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