Immediately following yesterday’s solar eclipse, Iceland’s Nordic Pagan religion broke ground on its new chapel and headquarters in Reykjavík.
Ásatrú, which is registered as an official religion in Iceland, posted on Facebook that the chapel marks a milestone in Northern European religious and cultural history.
The chapel will be 350 square meters and have room for 250 people. Construction is expected to be completed in September next year.
High Priest of Ásatrú, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson described the breaking ground ceremony as, “A big day for us. This will change everything for us as we have never had facilities big enough for what we do.”
The ceremony began at 08.38, at the start of the eclipse, whereby the boundaries were ceremonially marked out, candles lit in each corner, and local landmarks honored. When the darkness was at its height, at 09.37, a fire was lit in what will be the center of the chapel.
“There we can create an iconic Reykjavík building. It will be a place of congregation first and foremost, but we will also have office facilities,” Vísir quoted.
The eclipse ended at 10.40, when the first spade of earth was dug for the new chapel and the ceremony brought to an official end.