The Norwegian government presented this building to Heimaey in 2000 to commemorate the millennium of Iceland's official adoption of Christianity. In the year 999 or 1000, the king of Norway sent emissaries to the annual Icelandic assembly (Alþing) to lobby against heathenism. According to saga accounts, their instructions were to build a church wherever they first set foot on land, which turned out to be Heimaey. The location of the original site is under dispute, and the new church is based on medieval Norwegian models. In keeping with the saga, the church was built in 2 days. The building process and architectural details are well-documented in a book on display in the Maternity Museum next door.