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Iceland Mag

Culture

Perlan wrongly thought to be new heathen temple

By Staff

  • Perlan This is not Reykjavík's new heathen temple. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

The first central heathen temple to be built in the Nordic countries in nearly a thousand years is to be built in Öskuhlíð, Reykjavík. It seems as though many foreigners wrongly believe that Perlan, a huge glass dome built on top of water tanks, located on top of Öskuhlíð hill, is the new temple. Luckily, that is not the case.

Ásatrú, heiðni, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson

Corrects a misunderstanding Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson says Perlan on top of Öskjuhlíð hill is not the new heathen temple. Photo/Stefán

Construction of the temple has only recently been set in motion and won’t be completed until next autumn. Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, head priest of the Icelandic Ásatrúarfélag, told the hosts of radio show Reykjavík síðdegis that he’d received numerous emails from concerned heathens.

Read more: Construction of a heathen temple to begin in Reykjavík next month
Read more: Anyone can practise the heathen Ásatrú

“I’ve received many emails containing images of stave churches and the city of Rohan from Lord of the Rings. However, heathen ‘temples’ were simply the homes of chieftains who housed “blót” and feasts – therefore there were no guidelines nor restrictions when it came to designing the temple.”

At the core of Ásatrú is the belief that the natural world is sacred and living, and according to Hilmar Örn the new temple will embody that.
“The sun and the seasons will the building’s focal point and the space will change with each season.” 

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