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Путеводитель: Budakirkja Church

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Búðavegur, 356, Iceland
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Budakirkja is one of the most photographed buildings in all of Iceland.Budakirkja is an iconic small church located in Budir on the Snaefellsnes peninsula in western Iceland. It is known for its black exterior and strikingly beautiful surroundings.

Budakirkja, located in the small hamlet of Budir, is one of the most photographed buildings in Iceland and one of the highlights of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The church's iconic black exterior, combined with the astonishing natural surroundings, make it an unforgettable sight.

The church is not generally open to the public on a daily basis but is a popular venue for events such as weddings and concerts. The church has an organ and seating for up to fifty people, but there is no bathroom or running water.

You can visit Budakirkja and its surrounding region by renting a car or taking a self-drive tour, and there are plenty of fantastic options for accommodation in Snaefellsnes if you want to spend more time in the area. The church is also a designated stop in many day tours of Snaefellsnes if you want to enhance your visit with expert knowledge from a local guide.

History of Budakirkja

The first Budakirkja was built in 1703.

Budir was once a prosperous trading post and fishing village, making it a vital hub of commerce in Snaefellsnes. Medieval sources describe Budir as one of Iceland's major ports, with archaeological evidence suggesting traffic in the area dating back to the earliest settlement of Iceland in the late 9th century.

The original church at Budir was constructed early in the 18th century. The story goes that after finding a suitable location to build the church proved difficult, a wise old woman advised that three arrows should be taken, one of which should be marked. A man would then spin until he felt dizzy before firing all three arrows and that the church should be built where the marked arrow landed.

The arrow landed in a patch of lava filled with sand, and the church was built there in 1703. This original Budakirkja was a turf church that later fell into disuse and was eventually demolished. The current Budakirkja, built in 1848, stands as a reconstruction. It was painted black because the exterior wood is coated in pitch, a common practice in the past to protect the wood from the harsh Icelandic weather.

The trading post at Budir was abandoned at the beginning of the 19th Century, but today, the area prospers economically because of tourism, in large part due to Budakirkja.  

Things to Do Near Budakirkja

Mount Kirkjufell is the most iconic sight in Snaefellsnes.The Budahraun lava field surrounding Budir is a moss-covered expanse that's well worth a visit. It is home to over 130 plant species that make their home among the lava formed in a volcanic eruption nearly 8,000 years ago. The area is a great place to go for a walk and take in the serene atmosphere.

The Snaefellsnes peninsula as a whole is packed with natural wonders. Mount Kirkjufell (pictured above) is one of the most iconic sights in Iceland, with its dramatic formation serving as a guiding beacon for the peninsula.

Snaefellsnes is sometimes nicknamed 'Iceland in miniature,' as you can see many diverse natural sights associated with the country all within the region. The Snaefellsjokull National Park was established in 2001 and covers 66 square miles (170 square kilometers), and within it are numerous beautiful attractions, including rock formations, lava fields, and volcanic craters. 

Arnarstapi is a popular location to visit in Snaefellsnes, with beautiful seaside views and rock formations along its coastline. Booking accommodation in Arnarstapi can be convinient if you want to explore everything the region has to offer.

Places to Stay Near Budakirkja

Hotel Budir is an elegant hotel with breathtaking surroundings.

Photo from Hotel Budir.

The most obvious suggestion for accommodation near Budakirkja is Hotel Budir which can be found nearby (you can see the church in the picture above!) This hotel is one of the most beautiful and elegant countryside hotels in all of Iceland, with rustic but comfortable furnishings, historic artwork, and amazing scenery. The hotel restaurant offers many delicious dishes made with fresh ingredients from neighboring settlements.

Hotel Snaefellsnes is another great option in the area, offering inviting and modern amenities to visitors. This family-run 4-star hotel is located just 25 minutes from Budir and is in a prime location to visit the rest of the peninsula.

Sjavarborg Guesthouse can be found in Stykkisholmur, the largest settlement in Snaefellsnes. This is a colorful and welcoming accommodation nestled in this historic town, offering a great view of the ocean and opportunities for walks around Stykkisholmur.

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