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HomeIceland TravelThe tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland


The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

Iceland is dotted with beautiful little nation church buildings and there are all in all roughly 360 church buildings in Iceland, large and small.

A few of them belong to the farmer and a few are within the possession and care of Þjóðminjasafnið – the Nationwide Museum of Iceland.

Prime picture: Tungufellskirkja church

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

Inside Tungufellskirkja church

On this travel-blog I’m going to point out you one of many smallest church buildings in Iceland, Tungufellskirkja church upcountry in South Iceland, which is within the possession of Þjóðminjasafnið – the Nationwide Museum of Iceland.

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

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

Inside Tungufellskirkja

I had been wanting to see the church bells in Tungufellskirkja, which date again to round 1200, making them amongst the oldest church bells of this sort within the Nordic international locations.

Icelandic church buildings are locked, however after I was studying up on Tungufellskirkja church I noticed that the farmers supply a guided tour of the church.

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

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandTungufellsfaldbúningurinn nationwide costume

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

So I acquired fairly startled after I had a peek contained in the church when my husband went to inform Elín that we had arrived 🙂

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

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

Contained in the small Tungufellskirkja church

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.

Tungufellskirkja church was inbuilt 1856-1857 by Sigfús Guðmundsson and has been within the possession of the Nationwide Museum of Iceland since 1987. It’s a timber church with no spire.

The oldest timber church in South Iceland is Búrfellskirkja church, inbuilt 1845, and the second oldest timber church in South Iceland is Mosfellskirkja, inbuilt 1848, so along with these church buildings, Tungufellskirkja church is amongst the oldest timber church buildings in South Iceland.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandAn previous candleholder from 1871 is mounted on the wall by the pulpit

The primary point out of a church at Tungufell farm is from the church register of Bishop Páll Jónsson at Skálholt episcopal see round 1200, however older church buildings at Tungufell have been product of turf.

In case you have learn my travel-blog about Skálholt cathedral, which is comparatively near Tungufell farm, then you definately would possibly do not forget that the stone sarcophagus of Bishop Páll Jónsson is on show within the crypt. And his walrus tusk crosier is on show on the Nationwide Museum of Iceland.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

An previous hymn board contained in the church

The inside of the Tungufellskirkja church is straightforward however stunning.

The pulpit was made and painted by Ófeigur Jónsson most probably initially made for a turf church that was erected in 1831. As was the altar and different artifacts within the church. 

You’ll discover an previous wood field within the church, most probably additionally 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 tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandThe previous altarpiece in Tungufellskirkja church

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

Matthías Þórðarson, director of the Nationwide Museum, donated the altarpiece to the Tungufellskirkja church when the previous enamel altar cross, also known as Tungufellskrossinn, got here into the possession of the Nationwide Museum.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

The gorgeous altarpiece in Tungufellskirkja church

You will discover this stunning altar cross on show on the Nationwide Museum.

Tungufellskrossinn – the Crucifix of Tungufell

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandValþjófsstaðaskrínið and Tungufellskrossinn on the Nationwide Museum of Iceland

In Tungufellskirkja church you’ll discover a photograph of a cross mounted on the wall on the precise aspect of the altar.

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

It was most probably made in Limoges in France round 1180-1220, however Limoges was again then the middle of enameling in West Europe.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandTungufellskrossinn – it’s troublesome to {photograph} it as it’s behind glass

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

To the left of Christ on the 52 cm cross is the Virgin Mary and the Apostle John to the precise. Under the toes of Christ is Adam popping out of his grave. Angles adorn the cross on high and the decrease a part of the cross.

You will note extra images of the cross at Sarpur – Tungufellskrossinn

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandA photograph of the previous crucifix hangs on the wall within the church

To the precise above my head in my picture under, you may see a photograph of the previous enamel cross which was final in Tungufellskirkja. 

Tungufellskrossinn was in a foul form and components of it have been faraway from the cross and put right into a body and made into an altarpiece. When Matthías Þórðarson, the Director of the Nationwide Museum, purchased the cross again in 1915, he had the components refastened to a wood cross, however the previous cross is misplaced.

Should you have a look at the images of the cross in Sarpur you’ll discover that it appears to be like completely completely different on the rear aspect. That’s as a result of not all of the items from the previous cross have been saved.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

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

I visited the Nationwide Museum to see the Tungufellskrossinn altar cross however noticed that it was wrongly marked as Draflastaðakrossinn crucifix, so I despatched them a message.

I acquired no reply and 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.

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

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

Tungufellskrossinn

There are solely two crosses like this left, Tungufellskrossinn and Draflastaðakrossinn from Draflastaðir in Fnjóskadalur valley up north. I’ve written one other travel-blog in regards to the stunning Fnjóskadalur valley:

A Go to to Fnjóskadalur Valley 

I like visiting the Nationwide Museum and search out artifacts, which I can hyperlink to my travel-blogs. Thus I can be taught extra in regards to the myriad of artifacts on the museum and likewise give you a chance to see the gorgeous previous artifacts, which we now have on show. 

The oldest bells in a church in Iceland

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South 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 most probably 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 upcountry in Iceland.

Right here you may take heed to the sound of the previous church bells: Kirkjuklukkur – Tungufellskirkja.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandThe previous church bell from Hálskirkja in Fnjóskadal is on show on the Nationwide Museum

On show on the Nationwide Museum is one other previous church bell from Hálskirkja church in Fnjóskadalur. It’s of the identical beehive form because the church bells in Tungufellskirkja and most probably dates again to the mid-Twelfth century.

Tungfufellsfaldbúningurinn nationwide gown

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

Inside Tungufellskirkja

Elín Jóna, who lives at Tungufell, informed us the historical past of the church and confirmed us this stunning nationwide gown, faldbúningur, which she made with patterns from the church.

For guided excursions, Elín Jóna brings her nationwide costume to the church as I informed you earlier.

The steerage is round ISK 1,000 per individual and was nicely price it as often my husband and I go to the church buildings alone.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandWith Elín Jóna, the creator of the “faldbúningur” 

He has the function of knocking on the door of the farmer and asking for the important thing and I take the images and write in regards to the locations.

We adore it if the farmer has acquired time to spare to inform us in regards to the church, however that isn’t usually the case as they’re busy with their farm work.

So it was a particular deal with being guided round by the educated Elín Jóna 🙂

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

The Icelandic faldbúningur is made with patterns from the Tungufellskirkja church

Elín Jóna guided us for half an hour and informed us all in regards to the faldbúningur which she created from 2013-2017 utilizing previous patterns from the church.

It was Jóna’s concept to make use of the patterns within the previous woodwork at Tungufellskirkja church, for her nationwide costume. Which makes this faldbúningur considered one of a form.

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 tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

Lovely embroidery

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

No two flowers painted on the altar and the body are the identical, they’re all distinctive.

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. 

The older sort of faldbúningur from the seventeenth and 18th centuries was vibrant, however the latter sort from round 1800, was darker and never as vibrant. Faldbúningur was later changed by skautbúningur.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

The flower sample on one aspect of the altar

As I informed you earlier then the pulpit and the altar and the body across the altarpiece have been made and painted by Ófeigur Jónsson, for an older turf church inbuilt 1831.

And now these previous patterns have been embroidered right into a loverly nationwide costume. What a phenomenal tribute to Ófeigur.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

Lovely decorations on the Tungufells faldbúningur

Once you come exterior once more you’ll discover the skinny iron cross on high of the towerless Tungufellskirkja church. It was made round 1913 by Jón Árnason from Eyrarbakki village in South Iceland.

Jón Árnason additionally made the skinny church iron gate. Each the cross and the gate are fairly unpretentious, but so very beautiful. 

There is just one service a 12 months held at Tungufellskirkja church – within the summertime and I seen on Fb that one service was held in December 2022.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandTungufellskirkja church

Tungufellskirkja church is farthest away from the ocean of Iceland’s church buildings, 58 km from Hvalfjörður bay. One would suppose that it was nearer to the ocean within the south, however not the west, so this got here as a shock to me.

By Tungufellskirkja church is an info signal erected by the Nationwide Museum of Iceland. Should you see such an indication with this image in my picture under when you’re travelling round Iceland, then you’ll know that the church, or turf home for that matter is within the possession of the Nationwide Museum.

On the web site of Þjóðminjasafnið – the Nationwide Museum of Iceland, you may see a map of all of the museums and historic websites within the possession of the Nationwide Museum round Iceland.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

The data signal from our Nationwide museum

We drove additional into the valley which is off the crushed path and picked blueberries. It was fantastic being alone in nature, figuring out that there have been crowds on the opposite aspect of the glacial river.

Should you drive even additional on it is possible for you to to go to Iceland’s best-known waterfall, Gullfoss itself, from the alternative aspect of the Hvítá river.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandThe higher cascade of Gullfoss waterfall as seen from the east financial institution of the Hvítá river

Should you go to Gullfoss from the east financial institution be very cautious as there are not any railings, simply pure nature.

The Majestic Gullfoss – Iceland’s Golden Waterfall, which supplies a Title to the Golden Circle

Though we’re off the crushed path right here, then on the alternative aspect of the glacial river is among the busiest roads in Iceland as there you’re on the Golden Circle route.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandVisiting Gullfoss waterfall alone on the east financial institution of the Hvítá river

The Golden Circle is the most well-liked day tour in Iceland – it consists of Þingvellir nationwide park, the Geysir geothermal space, and the Gullfoss waterfall.

Brúarhlöð

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

Brúarhlöð

In your strategy to Tungufell or again for that matter, you’ll cross Hvítá glacial river, a few km under Gullfoss waterfall.

By the bridge, which is the third bridge constructed over the river (the two others have been washed away in 1929 and 1930 by the sheer pressure of the river throughout a flood), you will notice the superb Brúarhlöð rock formations.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South Iceland

Brúarhlöð

Right here the glacial river Hvítá runs by way of Brúarhlöð gorge and has created fairly a magical sight, because it has sculpted the sediment Breccia (þursaberg) in uncommon shapes.

You possibly can park your automotive in a car parking zone by the gorge and stroll right down to the river, the place you should have an incredible view of this stunning gorge.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandWanting on the Brúarhlöð gorge from above

Or comply with a small path and stroll alongside the gorge and take a look at it from above.

River rafting is fashionable right here on the Hvítá river and folks on the tour get an opportunity to leap into the river in a wetsuit.

You possibly can see the milky white color of the river which signifies that its origins are in a glacier.

This glacial water comes straight from the Langjökull glacier, Iceland’s second largest glacier, so it’s ice-cold.

The tiny Tungufellskirkja Church and the Tungufellskross Crucifix upcountry in South IcelandBrúarhlöð

I’ve written one other travel-blog in regards to the Langjökull glacier:

Langjökull Ice Cave Tunnel and the Lovely Whale Fjord in West-Iceland

Right here you may see the situation of Tungufellskirkja church on Google maps.

Have a stunning time in Iceland – there are myriad issues to see and do on this space 🙂

Ref.:

Kirkjur Ísland quantity I

Gengið í Guðshús

Tungufells faldbúningurinn – Elín Jóna Traustadóttir

Hundrað ár í Þjóðminjasafni – Kristján Eldjárn

Sarpur.is

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