Sunday, September 17, 2017

Isafjordur Cemetery in Iceland

the church

I went the Isafjordur for the exact purpose of visiting the Culture House. Nothing more. Nothing less. The Culture House – which is really a library, was exactly what I needed to complete my golden trio of objectives in Iceland: visit a cemetery, grocery store, and library.

Having already been to a grocery store and cemetery in Reykjavik on my last trip in 2011, all I wanted to do is Isafjordur was visit that glorious library.

After a long multi-method journey from our apartment Reykjavik the shuttle from Isafjordur airport pulled into the sitting and I began walking towards the library.
Being a cemetery enthusiast, one can only imagine my joy when I saw that a cemetery was right beside the library. Never have I seen such convenience. My two favorite things – side by side.

Cemeteries are usually kept on the edges of town and quite difficult to get to and find. I was so thrilled that I would get o experience another Icelandic cemetery, and one much more modern that Hólavallagarður.

Hólavallagarður was old and green and moss-covered. Ísafjarðarkirkja  - which is the name of the church attached to the cemetery, was modern, sparse, and snow covered. It had also been a secret dream of mine to photograph a cemetery in the snow, so  Ísafjarðarkirkja allowed me to check that off my list as well.

The gate is designed with a motif of an anchor, an ode to this fishing town.
The tombstones spanned in age from the 1900s to present day. Despite the hundred-year-age difference, the graves in the cemetery appeared fairly uniform, and there were no noticeable aesthetic differences between them.

One similarity with Hólavallagarður was the gates that surrounded a few plots. Though they were not green and moss-covered, they were rusted and charming.
I was also struck by the prevalence of the cross motif in this cemetery, where the graves were typically simple and geometric. 

I was surprised to find this cemetery in such a central location in town and I am pleased to be able to complement my cemetery experience in Hólavallagarður with this very different site in Ísafjarðarkirkja.

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