The Black Church at Búðir

Fujifilm GFX 50s, ISO 400, FL 40 mm, 1/250 sec @ f/11. Encaustic wax overlay.

In 1703, Bendt Lauridsen built the first church at Búðir, which was demolished later and rebuilt again.  In 1816, the parish at Búðir was abolished.  Steinunn Sveinsdottir, one of the ladies of the parish fought strongly for a new church, but the national church rejected her request.  Eventually, Steinunn received a royal permission to build a new one, which stood ready in 1848.  A quote on the door ring says “this church was built in 1848 without the support of the spiritual fathers”.  In memory of Steinunn’s achievement, this noble woman is buried in the churchyard in Búðir.  Between 1984-86, the church was reconstructed and consecrated in 1987.  Among the valuable possessions of the church are a bell from 1672, an altarpiece from 1750, an old silver chalice, two messing candlesticks from 1767, and a door ring from 1703.  The church is protected and one of the oldest wooden churches in Iceland.

The Black Church of Búðir has become a very popular spot for photographers visiting the Snaefellsness Peninsula.  The striking dark tones of the small church stands out in sharp contrast to the moody dark skies and the rugged Icelandic mountains surrounding it.

About Diana Davidson

Physician, traveler, photographer, tennis player, reader, teacher, student


  1. This is beautiful; I love the light/dark contrast. I assume you took this picture, what an eye you have! Would you mind if I took a stab at painting it?

    • Diana Davidson says:

      Please – go right ahead. I love the idea that my photo inspires you. This is not a straight photo, tho. I printed the photo on canvas, and then brushed the canvas with an encaustic wax overlay. So it’s already a cross between photography and brush arts ??

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