Three houses on Mýrargata in central Reykjavík were demolished on Monday because they were located on a lot that has been allocated to the Russian Orthodox Church. A Russian-style timber church will be constructed there instead.
According to ruv.is, the new church will be 20-meters high and up to 1,000 square meters in size. Icelandic and Russian architects will cooperate on its design.
An agreement was reached on the construction of the church in July 2007 between the then Mayor of Reykjavík Vilhjámur Th. Vilhjálmsson and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church. Its construction is scheduled to finish within two years.
Muslims, Buddhists and members of Ásatrúarfélagid, an association which honors the Norse gods, have also requested permission to build mosques and temples in Reykjavík.
Vilhjálmsson said their applications are being considered, denying that the Russian Orthodox Church had been prioritized.