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Architecture in Reykjavik

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Hallgrimskirkja Church
Hallgrímskirkja church is Reykjavík's main landmark and its tower can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. It was designed by the late Guðjón Samúelsson in 1937, who was often inspired in his endeavours by the fascinating shapes and forms created when lava cools into basalt rock. Construction of the church began in 1945 and ended in 1986, with the tower completed long before the rest of the building. The crypt beneath the choir was consecrated in 1948, the steeple and wings completed in 1974 and the nave consecrated in 1986.
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Harpa Concert & Conference Centre
Harpa is one of Reykjavik‘s greatest and distinguished landmarks. It is a cultural and social centre in the heart of the city and features stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the North Atlantic Ocean. Harpa is an enchanting destination for intrigued travellers and its grand-scale award-winning architecture has attracted 4 million guests since its opening, May 4, 2011.
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Perlan Museum
Perlan Museum - Wonders of Iceland is one of the largest and most ambitious exhibition project in Reykjavík in recent years. The museum is situated in one of Reykjavík's most impressive buildings, Perlan, and will be a must-visit for any tourist - not only for the world-class museum, but also for its amazing panoramic views of Reykjavík, great architecture and excellent restaurant, café and gift shop.
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Skriduklaustur
Skriðuklaustur is an ancient manor estate in Fljótsdalur. From 1493 - 1552 a monastery operated there. In the years 2002 - 2012 an extensive archaeological excavation took place on the cloister ruins which are now open to visitors. The writer Gunnar Gunnarsson (1889 - 1975) bought Skriðklaustur in 1939 and built a large house there designed by the German architect Fritz Höger. The writer moved to Reykjavík in 1948 and donated Skriðuklaustur to the Icelandic nation. In 2000 the institute of Gunnar Gunnarsson resumed operation in Skriðuklaustur as a centre of culture and history. In the summertime, Skriðuklaustur comes alive with various exhibitions, cultural happenings and guided tours for visitors around the writer's house and the archaeological site.
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Beauly Priory Ruin
Located in the village of Beauly, the ruined church of a Valliscaulian priory, is one of three founded by the order in 1230. Part of the building was later rebuilt. It became a Cistercian home around 1510. The church was roofless in 1633, the stone is said to have been used by Cromwell to build a fort in Inverness in 1650.
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Fortrose Cathedral
Immediately to the south east of Fortrose's narrow High Street is the surprisingly spacious Cathedral Square, home to the red stone remains of Fortrose Cathedral. The site was chosen for a new Cathedral of Ross by Bishop Robert to replace the Church of St Peter in nearby Rosemarkie. This followed permission granted in 1236 by Pope Gregory IX, reaffirmed in the 1250s by Pope Alexander IV. The cathedral was probably finished by 1300 as a fairly simple structure some 185ft long and 25ft wide. The 1400s saw additions made in the form of a south aisle and chapel, plus a tower.
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The Highlanders Museum
The Highlanders' Museum is home to the largest number of military artefacts outside London. The Museum tells the story of the Highland Regiments from just after the Battle of Culloden up to the present day. The Museum is based within Fort George which is still a working military barracks and is currently home to 3 SCOTS. During the Summer months, the Museum offers guided tours to our visitors in order to maximize their experience. We also host a number of school and university trips at the Museum with a number of activities available including workshops, tours and Museum trails. Visitors can also enjoy a bit of dolphin spotting or bird watching from the ramparts of the Fort.
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Urquhart Castle
Discover more than 1,000 years of stirring history centred on the Great Glen. The magnificently situated Urquhart Castle, on the shore of Loch Ness, has seen some of the most dramatic chapters in our nation’s story
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Bowmore Round Church
The Round Church stands in a magnificent location at the head of the village of Bowmore's Main Street. From here it dominates the village and offers views down the centre of Main Street to Loch Indaal and beyond. It has been described as Islay's best known building, and, give or take a few distilleries, that is very probably true. The Round Church is the commonly used name for what is formally know as Kilarrow Parish Church. It was built between 1767 and 1769 by Daniel Campbell of Shawfield and Islay, who at the time owned Islay in its entirety. The following year work began on a planned village which greatly expanded the existing settlement of Bowmore. Campbell's development of Bowmore was not driven solely by altruistic motives. The new settlement was intended to generate increased rental income, and to allow the clearance of the area's main settlement of Kilarrow, near Bridgend. This in turn was intended to remove development from the area around Campbell's hereditary home, Islay House, and allow its gardens and grounds to be extended. A cynic might suggest that the development of the church was intended to help gain the acceptance of those being moved from Kilarrow to new planned village at Bowmore.
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Leith Hall Garden and Estate
Your visit to Leith Hall will be by guided tour, giving a fascinating insight into the changing aspirations, needs and tastes of the Leith-Hay family over the centuries. The house itself is quirky and curious, reflected in the worldwide collections on show.
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Braemar Castle
A forbidding exterior conceals 12 authentic rooms charmingly furnished as though the family has just stepped out. Dig deeper and discover a turbulent past which echoes the story of Scotland over the past 400 years. Built in 1628 by the Earl of Mar as his Highland Hunting Lodge, set alight by the notorious Black Colonel in 1689, used as a garrison for Hanoverian soldiers after the rebel Jacobite defeat at the Battle of Culloden and for the past 200 years, home to the Chiefs of Clan Farquharson. Now lovingly tended by the community of Braemar and gradually being restored to its full splendour.
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Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle has been the Scottish home of the Royal Family since it was purchased for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1852, having been first leased in 1848. The Castle is an example of Scots Baronial architecture and is classified by Historic Scotland as a category A listed building.
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Craigievar Castle
A fairy tale castle with guided tours telling the history of the castle and the families who lived here.
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His Majesty's Theatre
His Majesty’s Theatre is one of only two so named in the world. It’s an opulent, awe-inspiring Frank Matcham designed theatre, a national treasure, with a breathtaking auditorium described by Billy Connolly as “like playing a gig inside a wedding cake!” On stage at HMT you can expect to see Broadway and the West End come to the North-east with award-winning musical theatre. HMT has welcomed Wicked, Jersey Boys, Dirty Dancing, and acclaimed stage plays like the National’s One Man Two Guvnors and To Kill a Mocking Bird, direct from the West End. As well as internationally renowned contemporary dance - Mark Morris Dance Group, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Jasmin Vardimon. It’s the perfect family night out with shows like Shrek, Sing-A-Long-A-Frozen, Slava’s Snow Show and their legendary Christmas Pantomime. HMT are proud to be Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera’s home in the North-east.
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Slains Castle
On the coast of Cruden Bay lie the remains of Slains Castle. The original castle has been reconstructed may times since its construction in 1597 by the Earl of Erroll. The ruin you see today is the inevitable result of the castle’s location and various misfortunes becoming the owners over time. The owners, the Earls of Errol, were an influential family in the Cruden Bay area for many years and prospered after William Hay (the 18th Earl of Errol) married the daughter of King William IV. Overtime the Hays fell upon hard times and in 1919 the castle and contents were sold to Sir John Ellerman. He gave up the castle in 1925 and the roof was removed to avoid paying taxes.
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Tolbooth Museum
The Tolbooth Museum is one of Aberdeen's oldest buildings and one of the best-preserved 17th century gaols in Scotland. It features displays on local history and the development of crime and punishment through the centuries. The Tolbooth Museum provides a unique experience in the form of its atmospheric 17th and 18th century cells, original doors and barred windows. Displays include the Maiden and the blade of Aberdeen's 17th century guillotine.
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Tivoli Theatre
The Tivoli is one of Scotland's most historic Grade A listed buildings, which was purchased by the Tivoli Theatre Company in 2009. Having preserved the theatre's impressive 528 seat auditorium and restored the building, the Tivoli have created a useable and sustainable space for modern-day use, and are proud that it is now a significant public attraction located in the heart of historic Aberdeen.
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Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle is a dramatic and evocative ruined cliff top fortress that was the home of the Earls Marischal, once one of the most powerful families in Scotland. Steeped in history, this romantic and haunting ruin is a photographer’s paradise, a history lover’s dream and an iconic tourist destination for visitors the world over
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Glasgow Museums
The City of Glasgow owns one of the richest collections in Europe, displayed in 8* museums and galleries across the city. From paintings by Degas and Cezanne to Sir Roger the Elephant, Charles Rennie Mackintosh furniture to a real Spitfire, fabulous arms and armour to cutting edge contemporary art, Glasgow Museums have objects and exhibits to fire your imagination.
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George Square
The heart of the city, nestled between Glasgow City Chambers and Queen Street train station, is a sprawling square sporting a baker's dozen worth of statues. Ironically, the only statue missing is the titular George himself, King George III. Although one was originally planned, the planning and building of the Square itself coincided with the War of American Independence in the late 1700s. This caused many problems for the so called “Tobacco Lords,” Glaswegian merchants who made their fortunes in trade with the American colonies. This animosity was compounded by loss of the war in 1783, coupled with the fact that the monarch was gripped by insanity leading to his nickname, “The Mad King.” As a result, the powers in Glasgow decided instead to erect the first ever memorial commemorating Sir Walter Scott, the famous Scottish novelist. He is in good company, joined by fellow poets Robert Burns and Thomas Campbell, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Prime Ministers Robert Peel and William Ewart Gladstone along with MP James Oswald, army commanders Lord Clyde and Sir John Moore, with engineer James Watt and chemist Thomas Graham.
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Glasgow Cathedral
“A fantastic way to travel back in time”. That’s how one visitor recently described this superb medieval cathedral. Just 10 minutes walk from the city centre, it’s the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland to have survived the 1560 Reformation almost entirely intact.
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People's Palace
The People’s Palace is set in historic Glasgow Green. It is home to a collection of objects, photographs, prints and film which give a unique view into how Glaswegians lived, worked and played in years gone by to the present day.
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The McManus - Dundees Art Gallery & Museum
The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, an award-winning Victorian, Gothic building, is home to Dundee's main collection spanning 400 million years and has been at the heart of art and culture in the City since 1867.
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Broughty Castle Museum
Discover the people, environment, history and wildlife of Broughty Ferry in this amazing 15th-century coastal fort, which houses a fascinating museum. Enjoy stunning views of Broughty Beach and the Tay estuary. Entry is free. This 15th-century coastal fort has faced many battles and sieges and was rebuilt in the 19th century as part of the River Tay's coastal defence system. It now houses a fascinating museum featuring displays on the life and times of Broughty Ferry, its people, the environment and the wildlife that lives close by. In 2019, the Castle celebrates its 50th anniversary as a museum! Don't miss the Orchar Gallery, featuring a selection of paintings from the amazing Orchar Collection. Enjoy the spectacular views over the River Tay from the observation post. You may even be able to spot a dolphin or two.
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Arbroath Abbey
Arbroath Abbey is famously associated with the Declaration of Arbroath of 1320, which asserted Scotland's independence from England.Parts of the abbey church and domestic buildings remain, notably the gatehouse range and the abbot's house.
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Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House
The gardens are a complex living museum containing over four centuries of culture and heritage. Within the heart of the 60 acre gardens is a unique visitor experience, Clotworthy House.
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Lauriston Castle
With its calm, tranquil atmosphere, and stunning views across the Firth of Forth, Lauriston is the perfect place to escape from the bustle of the city centre. Enjoy a woodland walk, a visit to award-winning Japanese garden, or step back in time and experience what life was like in an Edinburgh middle-class home at the beginning of the 20th century.
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Scott Monument
Standing proudly in Princes Street Gardens, the Scott Monument is one of the most iconic Edinburgh landmarks, a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. Dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, it is one of the largest monuments to a writer anywhere in the world. Sitting proudly at the base of the monument is Sir Walter himself, carved in Carrara marble by Sir John Steel. This monumental statue, fashioned from a single piece of marble weighing 30 tons, took the sculptor six years to complete. It features Scott and his beloved hound Maida. Join one of the tour guides to find out who Sir Walter Scott was, why such an impressive monument was in his honour and enjoy the breathtaking views of Edinburgh from the third-floor viewing platform - a truly unforgettable experience!
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Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is one of the most exciting historic sites in Western Europe, Set in the heart of Scotland's dynamic capital city it is sure to capture your imagination. The scenery will take your breath away.
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National Monument of Scotland
The National Monument of Scotland, on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, is Scotland’s national memorial to the Scottish soldiers and sailors who died fighting in the Napoleonic War.
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Royal Mile
Edinburgh's Royal Mile is the heart of Scotland's historic capital. A short walk away is the Grassmarket, an area steeped in the city's colourful history. The Royal Mile runs through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, connecting the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, perched high on a base of volcanic rock, with the splendorous Palace of Holyroodhouse, resting in the shadow of Arthur's Seat. The Mile is overlooked by impressive, towering tenements, between which cobbled closes and narrow stairways interlock to create a secret underground world. Peppered with superb attractions such as The Real Mary King’s Close or the Scottish Storytelling Centre, historical sites including St Giles' Cathedral and some of the best eating and drinking spots in the city, the Royal Mile offers much to see and do. For a glimpse of recent history, be sure to visit the ultra-modern Scottish Parliament, a striking building boasting a cutting-edge design.
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Museum of Edinburgh
Discover Edinburgh’s fascinating history through the Museum of Edinburgh’s wide and varied collections. In exploring the Museum’s maze of 16th-century buildings, you will see iconic items, beautiful objects and learn fascinating facts and gruesome tales. This free museum is easy to locate on the historic Royal Mile, with our companion Museum The People’s Story directly across the road. With a wide range of stories and objects, this museum has something for young and old, locals and visitors. In addition to the permanent collections, there is a regular programme of special exhibitions hosted at the museum.
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Craigmillar Castle
The castle of Craigmillar is one of the most perfectly preserved castles in Scotland. Even today, the castle retains the character of a medieval stronghold. Building began in the early 15th century, and over the next 250 years the castle became a comfortable residence surrounded by fine gardens and pastureland. The castles history is not only closely involved with the city of Edinburgh, but plays an important part in the story of Mary Queen of Scots who fled to Craigmillar Castle following the murder of Rizzio. It was in the castle where the plot was hatched to murder Marys husband, Lord Darnley.
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Belfast Castle Estate
Belfast Castle is located in the Cave Hill area of north Belfast. It was built in the 1860s and is one of the city's most famous landmarks. For generations, Cave Hill has been synonymous with Belfast, with its imposing outline visible throughout the city. The landmark, named for the five caves located on the side of the cliffs, contains a wealth of natural, archaeological and historical features, including Belfast Castle. Its most famous feature, known locally as Napoleon's Nose, is believed to have been the inspiration for Jonathan Swift's novel, Gulliver's Travels. The park is home to the Cave Hill Adventurous Playground, archaeological sites, Visitor Information Area in Belfast Castle, eco trails, walking and orienteering routes. The estate contains landscaped gardens and mature mixed woodland and offers superb views of the city from a variety of vantage points. It is home to many different species of wildlife, including long-eared owls, sparrowhawks and Belfast's rarest plant; the town hall clock.
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Belfast Cathedral
The building itself is Romanesque, giving it a lofty grandeur associated with that style; semi-circular arches and massive pillars, vast and high single windows, and possessing an uncluttered spaciousness. The Cathedral contains mosaics designed by Sir Charles Nicholson, as well as sculptures by Rosamund Praegar and Maurice Harding.
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Titanic Belfast
Titanic Belfast is the world's largest Titanic visitor experience and a must-see on any visit to Belfast and Northern Ireland. Titanic Belfast, named the World's Leading Tourist Attraction at the prestigious World Travel Awards in 2016, is located beside the Titanic Slipways, the Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and Hamilton Graving Dock, the very place where Titanic was designed, built and launched in 1912. Titanic Belfast tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. The self-guided Titanic Experience extends over nine interpretive and interactive galleries, which explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of RMS Titanic, as well as the city and people who made her.