Hallgrímskirkja tower reopened this morning following a five-week closure to replace its lift, mbl.is reports. The tower’s new lift travels 1.6m (5.3ft) per second, 60% faster than its predecessor.
Towering over downtown Reykjavík, Hallgrímskirkja church is a popular spot among tourists. Hundreds of thousands go up its tower every year to enjoy its panoramic view of the city. Admission to the tower earned the church ISK 238 million ($2.3 million/€2 million) in 2016.
At this time of year, the tower normally has some 1,000 visitors per day. Sigríður Hjálmarsdóttir, Hallgrímskirkja’s CEO, says many have been disappointed by the closure. “People don’t always take it well, but this is of course an important safety issue,” she stated. The tower’s previous lift was around 50 years old and therefore needed to be replaced. Unlike its predecessor, the new lift will be usable in emergencies.