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Small Church Destroyed in Fire

The small wooden church at Krýsuvík was totally destroyed in a fire on Friday night, January 2. The fire brigade of Grindavík town got an emergency call just after 2 am but when it arrived half an hour later the church had practically burnt to the ground. The church was 150 years old.

There was no electricity in the church so the cause of the fire can only be blamed on someone who lit the fire on purpose human error. Police started investigating the fire yesterday.

“This is terrible,” said the parish priest of Hafnarfjördur town, to which the destroyed church belongs to. “The church was a small gem, unique and frequented by visitors,” said the priest.

The church had a visitors book where thousands of guests wrote their names annually. When church services were held in the church it was usually full to the doors. The last mass of the year in the small church was at the end of September. Luckily the altar piece, painted by Sveinn Björnsson and other ornaments from the church had been removed then and were kept safe in the church of Hafnarfjördur.

The church in Krýsuvík was built in 1857 and rebuilt and consecrated again in 1964. It had been preserved by the National Museum.

The fire happened after another church had been vandalized on New Years Eve. Nearly 30 windows were broken and red paint was smeared on Grensáskirkja church in Reykjavík in the first hour of the New Year.

The church guard said she did not understand why the church was attacked by vandals. “The church did not participate in any outvasion,” she said referring to the fallen banks and their owners.

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