The Church of Grímsey

One of the early Catholic bishops of Iceland, Jón Ögmundsson consecrated a church on Grímsey in the 11th century. It was dedicated to St. Olaf, the patron saint of Norway. It was stated that there should always be two priests at the church who should lead mass daily, but twice a day on special occasions. The practice of Christianity is less ardent today but there are records of roughly 50 priests who have served there. Now days a vicar from the mainland (the village Dalvík) visits Grímsey to serve in the church approx. 4 times a year.

The present church was built in 1867. Mainly from driftwood that washed ashore at the island. The church was extended and renovated in 1932. The altar painting is by a local artist painted in 1878 and is a copy of a work by Leonardo da Vinci. Pledges and donations made to the church are said to bring good luck.