Black church at Buðir
The Buðir black church is one of 3 black churches in Iceland. They are black because the exterior wood is painted with pitch, just like the hull of a boat. This is to protect it from the harsh Icelandic elements. This works fairly well and buildings treated in this way have survived over 100 years.
Without the help of the Fathers
The church here is special. There has been a church here since 1703. When the importance of Buðir as a trading post declined, the hamlet was declared to no longer be a parish. A replacement church was needed, but not forthcoming from the church. One woman fought and won the King’s permission to build a new church… Steinunn Lárusdóttir. When her church was completed in 1848, a plaque claimed the Buðir black church was build without the help of the “Fathers”, in other words, without any help from the Lutheran Church. The church which stands there now is a reconstruction of Steinunn Lárusdóttir’s church. And it serves as a reminder of the strong Icelandic woman and her determination.
See more images of Buðarkirkja from a Winter trip.
Using a long telephoto around 200mm from a distance allows you to play with the Snæfellsness mountains in the background. The graveyard offers some interesting foreground. Also the church can be framed with the gate posts. For a standard wide angle capture, get close and set the tripod high to even the distortion of the top and bottom of the building. It is a black church, so you are free to concentrate exposure on other things such as sky without losing the subject, although it is nice to capture some texture in the dark wood.
Buðakirkja is close to a lava field called Buðahraun. It is also close to one of Iceland’s top Hotel and restaurant – Buðir Hotel. The site is not far from the Frodaheiði mountain pass that takes you to the North side of the Snæfellsness peninsular and the fishing village at Olafsvik.