Imagine all the people living life in peace . . .
So go the lyrics of John Lennon’s Imagine. Yoko Ono — his widow, as well as a musician, artist and peace advocate in her own right — helped create the Imagine Peace Tower (Friðarsúlan) on Viðey Island in Reykjavik, a landmark dedicated to the words that song promotes.
The Icelandic capital offers many things to see and do before or after your voyage on Iceland ProCruises. But the Imagine Peace Tower is one of the more underrated.
Since opening in 2007, the tower has illuminated the city’s sky at certain times of the year as a beacon for world peace. Due to Iceland’s unique weather conditions, the light beams change continuously. On a cloudless night, it creates a clear pillar of light. In rain or snowfall, you can see rainbow refractions. When cloudy, the beams reflect off any moving layers of cloud. And of course they are powered by geothermal energy.
Visitors can enjoy this spectacle yearly from October 9th to December 8th, dates that commemorate Lennon’s birth and death. Each year on October 9th, Yoko Ono pays her annual visit to Iceland for the lighting ceremony, an event that also includes guided tours of the island and musical performances as well as free ferry rides for all who want to attend.
“Iceland is such a spiritual place,” writes Ono. “I always feel such a strong energy when I return there. Love, peace, understanding and the power of nature are easy to forget in today’s fast-paced modern life. In Iceland, particularly on Viðey, it becomes easier to remember how important these things are to us all and to the planet. John would have loved it.”
In addition to the lights, the monument offers a brick-and-mortar message. Inscribed on the walls of the tower’s wishing well is the phrase “IMAGINE PEACE” translated into 24 different languages.
The Peace Tower is also lit during the winter solstice (Dec 21), New Year’s Eve, Ono’s birthday (February 18) and the first week of spring (March 20th-27th) to coincide with the dates of John and Yoko’s 1969 wedding and honeymoon.