REYKJAVIK - AUGUST 2008
Reykjavík, founded in 1786 as an official trading town, is said to be the site of the first permanent settlement in Iceland, established around 870. With no urban development until the 18th century, the city grew in the 19th century to become a centre of commerce and governmental activities.
In 1845, the Althing, the general assembly formed in 930, was re-established in Reykjavík, and this meant the establishment of the city as the capital of Iceland. In 1874 Iceland was given a constitution, and in 1904 the office of Minister for Iceland was established in Reykjavík, thus moving most of the executive power to Iceland. Finally, on December 1, 1918, Iceland became a sovereign country under the Crown of Denmark, the Kingdom of Iceland.
Those who were already around by that time, probably heard from Reykjavik for the first time in the news when, in 1972, Reykjavík hosted the World Chess Championship between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky!
"OLD TOWN PLAZA - Just in front of the Tourist Office"
"HOTEL BORG - In the Main Plaza of the Old Town"
"DOMKIRKJAN, completed in 1796, is a small Lutheran church of historical importance. A place of worship having existed on this site since 1200, it was here that independence was first blessed, and where Iceland's national anthem was first sung in 1874. Since 1845, members of every Althing parliament have gathered here for a service before the annual session"
"THE PARLIAMENT HOUSE - A classical nineteen century building, hosts the Althing, Iceland's Parliament"
"ON THE WAY - To the City Airport, built in town by the British during WWII"
"TJÖRNIN - The Pond is a small lake in the city centre"
"CITY HALL - Built in 1987 by architects Margrét Hardardóttir and Steve Christer, it houses the offices of the mayor of Reykjavík, a café, an auditorium and a 3D map of Iceland"
"FRIKIRKJA - The Free Lutheran Church in Reykjavik. On the top of the Hill, the Halgrimmskirkja was under renovation"
"HOUSES IN LAEKJARGATA STREET"
"THJODMENNINGARHUS - Site of the National Library of Iceland from 1908 to 1994"
"STJORNARRADID, the seat of the executive branch of Iceland's government"
"ICELANDC OPERA - The IO was first founded in 1978 and definitely established on October 3rd, 1980"
"LEIFUR EIRIKSSON (c.970 – c.1020) was a Norse explorer, probably the first European to land in North America. According to the Sagas, he established a settlement at Vinland (possibly L'Anse aux Meadows Norse on the northern tip of the island of honour the 1930 Althing Millennial Festival, commemorating the 1000th anniversary of Iceland's parliament at Thingvellir in 930"
"EINAR JONSSON MUSEUM - Einar (1874-1954) was Iceland's first sculptor. In 1909, he offered all of his works to the Icelandic people on the condition that a museum be built to house them. The offer, however, was accepted by the Parliament only in 1914, and thus the Museum was only officially opened in 1923, on Midsummer's Day"
"HALGRIMSKIRKJA - The church of Hallgrimur, at 74.5 m, is an amazing building that took 38 years to be built. Unfortunately, it was under renovation..."
"ORGAN - Built by Johannes Klais of Bonn, it is 15 metres tall and weighs 25 tons"
"NATIONAL MUSEUM - It hosts a very interesting collection"
"REYKJAVIK UNIVERSITY - The largest private University in Iceland"