The Imagine Peace Tower in Viðey, Iceland

The Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland

The Imagine Peace Tower is a light installation in Iceland designed by Yoko Ono in memory of her husband, John Lennon, and their continued campaign for world peace. The light projector comprises six light tunnels surrounded by slanted mirrors and nine beams with a combined power of 70kW. From the 10 m [33 ft] wide wishing well, the dense light beams are reflected up to 4,000 m [13,120 ft] in the air. The artwork is funded and maintained by Ono, Reykjavík City, Reykjavík Art Museum and Reykjavík Energy. It is sustainably powered using geothermal energy. Engraved in the tower’s mount is “Imagine Peace” in 24 languages, referencing Lennon’s song Imagine.

The artwork is directly related to another piece by Ono, Wish Tree, which has been ongoing since 1996. She invites people to write their wishes and hang them on branches of trees native to their country. The Wish Tree has since become digital. She collects the wishes herself, totalling over a million. The wishes are buried in the base of the Imagine Peace tower: the wishing well. The beam of light then symbolically illuminates the wishes up into the sky. You can send in your own wish here.

The Imagine Peace Tower’s lighting times

The tower was first lit in 2007 on John Lennon’s birthday, October 9th. Every year, it lights up on October 9th and shuts off on December 8th, the date of Lennon’s passing. In addition, it is lit from winter solstice until New Year’s Day and on Yoko Ono’s birthday, February 18th. Lastly, it lights up for one week during the spring equinox: the dates of Lennon and Ono’s wedding and honeymoon.

Why Iceland?

Iceland continues to hold the title of the most peaceful country, as ranked by The Global Peace Index. Therefore, Yoko Ono felt it was the right location for the Imagine Peace Tower. Ono has spent a lot of time in Iceland and was made an honorary citizen of Reykjavík in 2013.

Where is the Imagine Peace Tower?

The light installation is located in Viðey, a small island off the coast of Reykjavík. In the summer, ferries to Viðey are available daily from both Reykjavík harbour and the Skarfabakki pier in Laugarnes, Reykjavík. In the winter, the ferry only departs from Skarfabakki pier on Saturdays and Sundays. As of 2024, the price for the boat ride is ISK 2,100 [$15, €14] in the winter and 2,300 [$17, €15.50] in the summer. Guided tours of Viðey island and the Imagine Peace Tower are available year-round.

 

Imagine Peace Tower Illuminated Tonight, No Ferries to Viðey

Imagine Peace Tower

Due to inclement weather, there will be no ferry service tonight to Viðey island for the annual lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower.

The Imagine Peace Tower is an outdoor work of art conceived by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. The white stone monument emits a tower of light, which extends upward at least 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) on a clear night. The words “Imagine Peace” are inscribed on the monument in 24 languages. The tower is lit every year from October 9th, Lennon’s birthday, through December 8th, the date of his assassination, and has become a feature of the night sky over Reykjavík in these months.

Although the ceremony has been cancelled due to the weather, the Imagine Peace Tower will still be illuminated today, October 9, as planned. Those interested can visit the Imagine Peace Tower’s website to find a live stream and a performance of “Imagine” at 8:00 PM.

Elding, the operator of the Viðey ferry service, has stated that the wind conditions are highly unfavourable for sailing and has cancelled all ferry trips today and tomorrow.

An official statement from the City of Reykjavík can be read here.

 

Peace Tower Lighting Ceremony Cancelled Due to Weather

Imagine Peace Tower

The annual lighting of the Imagination Peace Tower ceremony on the island of Víðey just off the coast of Reykjavík has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Per an announcement on the City of Reykjavík’s website, Sunday’s planned celebrations have been called off due to wind warnings in Faxaflói Bay, where Víðey is located.

The Imagine Peace Tower is an outdoor artwork by Yoko Ono in memory of her late husband, John Lennon. The white stone monument emits a tower of light, which extends upward at least 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) on a clear night. The words “Imagine Peace” are inscribed on the monument in 24 languages. The tower is lit every year from October 9th, Lennon’s birthday, through December 8th, the date of his assassination. It has been lit every year since 2007.

Lighting will be livestreamed

Typically, free ferries transport guests to Víðey on the evening of the lighting to observe the ceremony and participate in a variety of activities, from live music performances to guided history walks around the island.

Although the in-person ceremony has been cancelled this year, the tower will still be lit as usual, at 8:00PM local time. The lighting will be broadcast live on the Imagine Peace Tower website and RÚV’s television and radio schedule on Sunday evening will include a number of related content, such as a TV segment on the history of the tower, and a radio documentary about the life of John Lennon. His song “Imagine” will also be broadcast at 8:00PM, when the tower is lit.

Prime Minister Pens Crime Novel with Ragnar Jónasson

Best-selling author Ragnar Jónasson and Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir have co-authored a crime novel together, RÚV reports. The book will be called Reykjavík.

This may seem an unlikely detour for the Prime Minister, but Katrín actually wrote her undergraduate thesis on Icelandic crime novels. She and Ragnar have, moreover, been planning their collaboration for some time. Two years ago, Katrín mentioned that the pair would be co-authoring a book together, but COVID scuppered those plans—at least temporarily. A year ago, however, Ragnar confirmed that they’d started writing.

Reykjavík is set in 1986 and deals with the disappearance of a young girl named Lára Marteinsdóttir from Víðey, a small island located in Kollafjörður Bay just off the capital’s coastline, some 30 years previous. For decades, Lára’s disappearance has weighed heavily on the Icelandic nation, but no concrete explanation of her disappearance has ever been furnished. That is, until a young reporter starts digging into the cold case with startling consequences.

“In this story, Katrín Jakobsdóttir and I are going to invite readers on a journey back to the summer when Reykjavík celebrated its 200th birthday, when Bylgjan and Stöð 2 [Iceland’s first privately-owned radio and TV stations] first started broadcasting, and Reagan and Gorbachev’s Reykjavík Summit was just around the corner,” wrote Ragnar in a Facebook post about the book on Friday. “And that summer is also when unexpected clues about Lára’s fate come to light.”

Reykjavík is set to be released in Iceland on October 25.

Peace Tower Lighting Streamed from Reykjavík Tonight

Imagine Peace Tower

Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower, located on Viðey island off the coast of Reykjavík, will be lit in a ceremony tonight to mark what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday. The white stone monument, which emits a tower of light that illuminates the sky, was conceived by Ono in memory of her late husband. The yearly lighting is normally open to the public, but this year it will be streamed instead.

“I hope you will join us in celebrating the relighting of IMAGINE PEACE TOWER,” Ono wrote in a Facebook post, “in Iceland and around the world. Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world.”

https://www.facebook.com/YokoOno/posts/10158601821150535

 

The Peace Tower’s light extends upward at least 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) on a clear night. The words “Imagine Peace” are inscribed on the monument in 24 languages. The tower is lit every year from October 9th, Lennon’s birthday, through December 8th, the date of his assassination.

This year, New York’s empire state building was also lit blue in honour of Lennon’s birthday.

Readers can watch the lighting ceremony on the Peace Tower’s official website tonight at 9.00pm UTC.

ISK 5.8 Million to Brighten Peace Tower

Yoko Ono’s art installation on Reykjavík’s Viðey island has never shone brighter, Vísir reports. The column of light, known as the Imagine Peace Tower, received an upgrade this year in the form of new mirrors which make the work brighter and more beautiful than before, according to Sigurður Trausti Traustason of the Reykjavík Art Museum, which oversees the work.

The Imagine Peace Tower is an outdoor work of art conceived by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. The white stone monument emits a tower of light, which extends upward at least 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) on a clear night.

The tower is illuminated in a special ceremony which takes place every year on October 9th, Lennon’s birthday. Nearly 1,800 people attended the ceremony last month, a record for the event. According to Sigurður, lighting the tower involves a bit more than just flipping a switch.

“Each year a group goes out to Viðey to align the tower. There are nine spotlights which form the tower and they need to be straight,” Sigurður explains. One staff member lights the first spotlight while four others evaluate whether or not it is pointing straight up.

“It’s easier said than done as the work stands on open ground and there’s nothing to compare against. It’s similar to a larger work in New York, where the twin towers once stood, and there they’ve got all these straight skyscrapers to measure against,” Sigurður states. He adds that the team often calls a friend on the mainland to judge whether the light is perfectly vertical.

“It happened once that we thought we had finished the job, but when we had gained some distance we saw that the beam was quite crooked. By then it was just too late so we had go out to the island the following day to fix the work.”

The new mirrors cost of ISK 5.8 million ($46,000/€42,000). That’s a fair price to pay, considering the Tower’s overall cost since its inauguration in 2007 has been just over ISK 40 million ($321,000/€290,000).

Imagine Peace Tower Illuminated Tonight

Imagine Peace Tower

Yoko Ono invites locals and visitors in Reykjavík to sail to Viðey island tonight for the 13th annual lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower. Rides on the Viðey island ferry will be free of charge from 5.30pm as well as buses from Hlemmur bus terminal to Skarfabakki pier starting at 5.15pm. The tower will be illuminated at 8.00pm, but the evening has a full program including live music and guided tours starting at 5.45pm.

The Imagine Peace Tower is an outdoor work of art conceived by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. The white stone monument emits a tower of light, which extends upward at least 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) on a clear night. The words “Imagine Peace” are inscribed on the monument in 24 languages. The tower is lit every year from October 9th, Lennon’s birthday, through December 8th, the date of his assassination.

The full program for the evening can be seen on the City of Reykjavik website (scroll down for English).

Man Arrested for Captaining Ferry While Intoxicated

moon over Esja mountain

A man who captains the ferry between the Reykjavík harbour and the island of Víðey in Reykjavík’s Kollafjörður Bay was arrested on Wednesday night on suspicion of having operated the vessel and transporting passengers while intoxicated. Vísir reports that the man spent the evening in police custody and was set to be interrogated on Thursday afternoon.

A passenger or another ferry employee notified police about the captain’s questionable state around 7.00pm on Wednesday night. Police met the ferry as it arrived at Reykjavík harbour. A breathalyser test revealed that the captain had been drinking.

Icelandic sailing law prohibits the captaining – or even attempted captaining – of a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Violations are punishable by fine or up to two years in jail.