Construction of the first main temple of the Ásatrú religion to be built in 1,000 years will begin in March. The temple will be located in Öskjuhlíð in Reykjavík, a forested hill popular for recreation on which landmark building Perlan (‘The Pearl’) stands.
The 350-square-meter building, which will house 250 people, is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016. The building will be constructed around the path of the sun and the sacred numbers of 9 and 432,000 are used in the design, mbl.is reports.
Originally, the Ásatrú Association had applied to build the temple in Elliðaárdalur valley in Reykjavík but former mayor Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir suggested that it instead be built in Öskjuhlíð to connect better with the university and academic community (both Reykjavík University and the University of Iceland are located nearby).
The City of Reykjavík donated the site to the Ásatrú Association but the building’s costs, estimated at ISK 130 million (USD 975,000, EUR 860,000), will be raised by the society itself.
There are 2,400 people registered in the association.
An MMR poll conducted in October found that 49 percent of people support the building of an Ásatrú temple in Reykjavík while 29.7 percent supported the building of a mosque.