The Basilica of Christ the King is the seat of the Catholic church in Iceland. It is, of course, basilica like only in name and design. As for size it's not much larger than a parish church in the United States or Italy. But then Iceland only has a few thousand Catholics. Iceland's state religion has been a branch of Lutheranism for some hundreds of years now after that whole Reformation thing happened.
To me this church, designed by Gujˇn Sam˙elsson, is much more attractive than the much more famous and much more photographed HalgrÝmskirkja across town (also by Sam˙elsson). Although individual features of HalgrÝmskirkja are very attractive and it has a beautiful interior, the Dˇmkirkja is a much more whole and thought out design. There is a continuity of flow throughout it, from tower to nave to apse and even to interior that the other church just does not have. HalgrÝmskirkja is more like really cool pieces stuck together without any thought to how it would look all put together.
But, anyway, that's my very brief critique of Halgrimskirkja.
The cathedral here was designed with a neo-gothic style but in a very Icelandic sense. The tall shafts around the tower and elsewhere on the building are representations of the natural basalt shafts that can be found all across the island and was a favorite motif of Sam˙elsson. He also used concrete which, along with the basalt shaft motif, played in perfectly with the verticality that is such a part of gothic architecture. Thus this Icelandic architect gave an Icelandic and modern touch to what could have easily been a generic 1920's Neo-Gothic building like the many Ralph Adams Cram churches that dot the United States.
For the consecration of the cathedral in 1929 Pius XI sent a special envoy from Rome who brought gifts, including a cedar sculpture of Jesus standing on the world. And 70 years later Pope John Paul II himself showed up in Iceland for a visit to the Cathedral.
Critiques | Translate
medio (466) 2007-11-22 10:52
Una gran toma, excelentes colores y una definiciˇn, el enfoque me parece muy bueno al igual que la textura parece que se pueda tocar!!!! buena foto.
Didi (54651) 2007-11-22 10:53
Different architecture than in France.
Very interesting lights on the walls.
avene (12675) 2007-11-22 11:04
I like this shot a lot, particularly how your composition shows how imposing the building is regardless of the size, and how the point of view you have chosen with the path directly in the center creates a strong feeling of presence. beautiful colours too, it must've been quite difficult not to overexpose the sky but still show enough details on the basilica's walls. excellent shot.
bizsu (1015) 2007-11-22 14:47
Hello Paul !
Szuper photo, very nice colours.Good POV. TFS. Thank you !
Merline (0) 2007-11-23 1:08
nice to see you again here!
A church not much shown, although worth of it. I did not manage a good pic of it, so I am very pleased to see this. Very nicely done, great light management, many details, sharp. Also a nice mood to it, with that beautiful sky and the light. I like it a lot, well done!
I was in admiration of the sculpture standing next to it, you can see it in my gallery "The calling". I would be pleased if you have a look, as you know this place, which many tourists don't.
Best regards and TFS
jpinkham (870) 2007-11-24 5:13
Impressive subject matter shown well, Paul. The shooting angle and cropping really accentuate the vertical heft of this image. Great lighting -- looks like you chose the right time of day, too. The clouds and lawn offer pleasing contrasts, and the walkway leads us right in. Nice, crisp texture. The trees, posts, and houses all offer a fine sense of scale as well.
bertolucci (13356) 2007-11-24 7:43
The sheer verticalism of this church and it's decoration really pops of the screen helped very nicely by the hard contrast and the saturated colours. The subtle cloud pattern works as a perfect companion to it. There's some aliasing in the vertical ornamentation but this doesn't reallt bother me. Very nice work, Paul.
Have a nice weekend,
vascao (192) 2007-11-25 16:09
Hi, Paul. How good is to see one of my teachers back to TE!
And what a comeback, I must say. The image is crystal-clear, with a very good light and a perfect framing. Very nice saturated - and natural - colors,; the sky is superb.
kajenn (2416) 2007-11-25 19:04
Nice to see a posting from you again, Paul, showing your well documented interest for Basilica architecture. But surprisingly from another latitude than your normal depictions, which is well shown in your image. This is a very strict and collected building standing firmly on the ground. The vertical lines - so well reproduced in your photo - the material and the slightly widened base help mediate that sturdy impression. Your chosen POV help "lift" the church toward that beautiful early Summer sky and the low side-light is just perfect for enhancing the structure of the surface. And it's even possible to see details in the darker left side. Very well done!
I've been very non-active on TE for over a year now, but a recent occasion inspired me to start posting again. I'll try to critic as well, but on a much lower level than previously. And try to respond to emails, which I've neglected. So it was good to see something from you again Paul. Take care!
- Copyright: Paul Mastrogiacomo (pamastro) (7218)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-06-05
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Olympus C-5000, 38-114mm 1:2.8-4.8
- Exposure: f/2.8, 1/400 seconds
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Icelandic churches [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-11-22 10:48