Friday, July 31, 2009



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"


"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"


Trotter said...

Hi Everybody! We have seen Ice, Fire and Water! Now it’s time to get back to the Urban Jungle, which Reykjavik is far from being... ;)). Enjoy and have a great weekend or, even better, a fabulous vacation!!

Unseen India Tours said...

This is so a fantastic series of wonderful photos !! I really liked the buildings and the location..Everything is so beautiful..Thanks for sharing..Unseen Rajasthan

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Gil
It was nice to see Reykjavik have green grass and flowers in bloom. I was always under the impression that it hardly ever thawed there. It looks like a charming city with so much to see!

SusuPetal said...

Interesting architecture, a little bit of everything.

Cergie said...

On imaginerait volontiers que le "voleur de couleurs" est passé par là, ne laissant que les noirs et blancs et les gris, s'il n'y avait les verts des pelouses, les rouges des sweets des cyclistes, un rayon de soleil dans une vitre sur l'étang ou les portes de bois....

Jen Laceda | Milk Guides said...

hello, Gil! Thanks for taking us on a tour of Reykjavik (oh, i almost didn't make it past the spelling...)

eye in the sky said...

hmmm the government buildings seem small. i like the museum's architecture.

Bhushavali said...

Hey GMG,
Check out my blog. There's some little gift waiting for you there...

alicesg said...

Lovely post. Everything in here looked so clean and neat. Love the beautiful architectural designs.

Today my post will be on forest walk and the high and long steel bridges, walking taller than the trees, you might like to pop over to view the latest attraction in Singapore. :)

PN Subramanian said...

Beautiful place and beaautiful photographs. Thanks once again.

S-V-H said...

I liked the architecture of Reykjavik, especial the City Hall at the water.

Nice post again, Gil!

P.S. thanks for the comment on my blog :)

Sue's Daily Photography

Mariposa said...

interesting architectures! does seem cloudy most of the time. your previous post on water is amazing!!

alok said...

Nice pictures and that’s looks to me a lovely place to visit.

Have a wonderful week ahead.

Lakshmi said...

very quaint and wonderful pics..have a great week too

Ron said...

Awesome pictures. Looks like a beautiful city.

lyliane six said...

Rudes constructions, à l'image de la rudesse du climat.Bonnes vacances si vous partez.

Cergie said...

Ah ? Rien de nouveau sous les nuage (personnel et pluvieux de cette touriste récurrente à ce blog) ?
Et bien j'en profite pour revoir cette belle architecture sobre et simple et ces photos célébrant en même temps l'éphémère, un oiseau, le vol d'un avion de ligne ; et l'été qui tarde à s'installer définitivement sur l'Europe !

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Very interesting pictures! Especially the Church of Hallgrimur!

Olivier said...

tres belle visite, les orgues sont magnifiques, j'adore. vous avez pu ecouter un concert avec les orgues ?

Gattina said...

It looks like a very modern nordic town !

Unknown said...

What a splendid tour !-interesting architecture and Reykjavik looks so clean and neat :)

Cutie said...

Wow, I guess I missed out a lot. I truly love the organ. That's just so beautiful.

Chubby Chieque said...

Thanks for dropping by and million thanks for taking us where you are.

Iceland! here I come. I love the nature spa's there.

Enjoy your tour!

xoxo to you both...

Ramakrishnan said...

Thanks for beautiful pics and detailed information on history of Iceland/Rekjavik. Rekjavik appears to be a quaint and attractive city where the new buildings blend well the antiquity.Thank god that there are no multistoreyed concrete blocks to spoil the skyline.
I was in school when Bobby Fischer defeated Boris Spassky.That made great international headlines at that time - the 1960's wasn't it? Rekjavik was selected as a neutral venue as neither of them wanted to play in the others country.It was the height of the cold war then. I think Fischer lived as a recluse for the rest of his life and he died recently.
Thanks for rekindling some of my old memories. Regards Ram

Anonymous said...

Brrrr....those photos taken on a cloudy day look sooooo cold. Makes me feel cooler sitting here in our hot weather. Have a great week Gil.

Lori said...

What a fascinating place that not many of us will see in person. I think I would like to take a trip there in winter when there's not much light. It certainly looks beautiful any time of the year. I love that 3D map.

Ming the Merciless said...

Thanks for the overview of the city/country architecture. It looks a lot like suburban USA.

Chuckeroon said...

Cergie seems to have said it all. Yep! It's grey. Oh, and NO! Summer has not yet arrived in the UK!

An Asian Traveler said...

REYKJAVIK looks clean, and the organ is pretty interesting.

Emery Roth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emery Roth said...

Thanks for another excellent tour. Reykjavik looks very clean and new and as someone said previously, a little of everything." I'm still awed by the water wonderland, fire and ice of the previous posts, but I'm delighted to have taken the guided tour through town.

bindu said...

A very clean and green city. The organ is magnificent!

Rajesh said...

The post is very informative with beautiful snaps supporting the information. The architectures of the buildings is exceptionally beautiful. The snap with the plane flying high in the sky is beautiful.

rochambeau said...

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Trotter,
Thank your for taking us on the tour of Iceland! It is especially appreciated, since I have a friends that are from this beautiful country.

Have a great journey to your next adventure. Will be waiting!


RuneE said...

For obvious reason I would feel at home here, even though I have not yet been Shame on me. Have you tried The Faeroe Islands? That is even more closer... A beautiful archipelago - highly recommended.

Celine said...

Hi Gil,
I do not know if I'll ever get a chance to visit Reykjavik, but what I see here is a virtual treat. It's good to catch up on the pictures you put on display here, thank you.

Pietro Brosio said...

Gil, all splendid pictures. Very nice, among the other buildings, the Free Lutheran Church. Thanks for sharing this interesting trip! I'd like to be able to visit Reykjavik one day. Have a very good week ahead!

Anonymous said...

Nice to be back in your blog with some fantastic pics there and knowing about the place...I too have a dream of visiting Iceland someday....It really thrills me!

Vamsee Modugula said...

Very interesting - this is not what I expected of Iceland.

Emm said...

A fabulous post as always!

Daniela Valdez said...

How cool, I always enjoy your pics very much! Thanks for sharing :)

My Unfinished Life said...

interesting architecture and urban landscape..i got to study a lot of urban landscape and most of the teachers only taught us about european cities like paris, florence, london and amsterdam...looking at pics of this city...i would say this is very different from all other cities i have stuided about!!

Unknown said...

Such fantastic pictures as usual Gil, have a great weekend.

Venksh said...

fantastic picx gil, the city center lake is really nice, n the view from city hall, wow would love sit there for hours n have coffee till i get bored lol...
the city is well planned with old buildings as well as with the new one...


Gerald (SK14) said...

Lovely to see the city again - I remember the old church and the lake with ducks. Strange to see the Hallsgrimsgkirka in all that scaffolding.

Trotter said...

Hi Folks! 08.08.2009 has passed and with it our 34th wedding anniversary! I was thinking that I would make some updating in the Revival’s, which are stopped since 08.08.2008, but with the champagne and the «Jazz in August», I must confess there was no time left to update... ;). Furthermore my space allowance is almost finished at Blogger, so I’m saving it for Blogtrotter... Well then, thanks for your comments; we’re just two more posts short from the end of the 2008 Icelandic adventure!!

Well, if we compare with the palaces in Rajasthan, we have to agree that Reykjavik is still a bit far away; but anyhow, there is something to enjoy in the small Nordic town!! ;)

Actually, Reykjavik is not necessarily grey; and when it comes to the «runtur» Friday and Saturday nights, it becomes quite hot, not only as colours are concerned... ;))

A little bit of everything, indeed! A little bit me, a little bit you... oh dear that was 1967... ;))

C’est vrai qu’il n’est pas facile à trouver des couleurs à Reykjavik, sauf les différents tons de gris… Mais si on travaille beaucoup et si on a de la chance, il y aura quelque chose de plus que le vert des pelouses… ;)
Je ne sais pas ce qui se passe avec l’été, du moins à Lisbonne ; il ya trois ans que la température reste normalement en dessous des trente dégrées centigrades au mois d’août. Pour moi c’est magnifique car je dois travailler pendant tout le mois… ;))

Great to take you around, though not in the so fancy hotels you use to show us!! Hope everything is running better with your Canadian deals…

With only three hundred thousand residents, why should they have huge government buildings? ;))

Thanks for the Lovely Blog Award! You’re too kind!! I vote for you!!

Alice SG,
Clean and neat it is; but probably not as much as Singapore. They have gums there… ;)). As for the bridge walk, I would love, but there might be needed a portable air conditioning device… ;))

My pleasure! I’m happy you enjoyed the pictures and the post!!

The City Hall is an amazing building and has a wonderful view to the lake; I just wonder whether the auditorium also opens the scene towards the lake, like the one at the Lisbon Gulbenkian Foundation opens to the garden; that would be absolutely terrific!!

It seems that winter spends its summer holidays in Iceland... ;)). But except for that, you may have a great time there... ;))

It doesn’t only seem; it actually is a wonderful place to visit!! But you have to be careful with the weather window... ;))

Great that you found some time to get here, in the middle of your travelling the monsoon trips... Hope everything is running smoothly!!

I wouldn’t say beautiful, but charming will do!!
If I were an Award distributor, I should give you that «Blogging Friends Forever» Card. Actually, now that we lost Joy and can’t reach her Norwich Daily Photo blog, you’re the only one to have commented my last 56 posts. Truly Thanks! Consider the Award attributed, OK?

Vacances? On aura une petite semaine du 31 août jusqu’au 6 septembre… ;)). C’est la vie… ;))

It’s a shame that they had that scaffolding in front of the Hallgrimur Church as the building is absolutely astonishing… You may have a decent look of it at P.N.Subramanian’s blog

Pas de chance pour le concert de l’orgue; mais ce qui est très intéressant est que l’église elle-même ressemble un orgue… ;)

Very modern, I’m not that sure; but it mixed a hint of contemporary design with the old shape of the traditional buildings... ;)

Trotter said...

Part two!

Clean and neat, we all agree! And I would also share the view on the interesting architecture...

Wow, great to see you back after the preparations for the great day!! I suspected you would love and find it beautiful - the organ...

Thanks. But we are no longer there; my posts are one year delayed. The Icelandic adventure was in August 2008... ;))

A blend that makes sense, actually! The Spassky v. Fischer Chess Championship match was in 1972 in Reykjavik and Fischer died there on January 18, 2008. Meanwhile he had some troubles with the US authorities, was arrested in Japan and, to avoid extradition, accepted the Icelandic citizenship that was granted to him. That’s why he was living in Reykjavik when he died...

You’re the lucky girl in vacation in the hot summer weather... ;)). Here, it isn’t cold, but there is no holiday around... ;))

If you go there in winter, it should be because of light; actually, the «northern lights», also named «Aurora Borealis». But it should be freezing, and as Bill Bryson explains to you - «Neither here, nor there» -, it may take some time till you see the Lights (if you ever have the chance to see it)...

Hey, not everything has to be compared with the US... ;). It looks a decent Nordic town, similar to other Scandinavian towns; if some US «suburbia» copied the pattern, that’s not Scandinavian’s fault... ;))

Seasons are a bit transfigured in Europe, it seems; but summer in England uses to be a Thursday. Don’t lose your hope... ;))

Asian Travller,
Pretty clean, indeed!

It must be said that the rural Iceland is probably much more interesting than the only sizeable town... they have. But Reykjavik has some interesting spots to show and the journey throughout town can also be interesting!!

That organ is making quite an impression around... It’s a shame that the church has that scaffolding in front of it. It’s an amazing building!!

Thanks! I’m truly thrilled that you enjoyed the post and the pictures. That plane was heading to the close by city airport, just passing over the Parliament building!!

My pleasure to take you around for free; it doesn’t cost us either: just some time... ;)). Great that you have friends from Iceland; hope they enjoy the views I’m showing!!

Of course, you would feel at home! Never made it to the Faroe, except flying over on the way to Iceland! It looked great from above... ;)

Great to see you back! Egypt in the summer must be an adventure... I would love to go there, but even early September is probably too hot... ;)). Too hot or too cold, that’s what we get as summer is concerned when dealing with Egypt and Iceland... ;))

The Free Church is an amazing building! And, being just by the Pond, it also has a lovely location!!

Great to have you back to the blogosphere and to the comments at Blogtrotter! It has been a long time since you were here... I’m sure you’ll make it to Iceland, when you actually wish! But beware of the weather window; you may feel it’s too cold... ;))

Oh dear, what did you expect of Iceland, then?

It’s your eyes... Thanks!

Cool and cold, believe me; even in summer... ;). Great that you liked the post and the pictures!! Thanks!

Shooting Star,
Actually not all towns are similar... And I’m sure that Nordic towns aren’t probably shown as examples of «European architecture» in schools around the world... For an eye like yours, my next post might be interesting...

M. Kate,
Thanks! You’re always a great Blogging Friend!

There is a cafeteria inside the City Hall building, so you can sip your coffee and look at the pond; the only problem to «café» lovers is that «coffee» comes with two «ff»s and two «ee»s, and experts say that’s no good... ;). I don’t drink it, anyway... ;))

Trotter said...

Sorry, Gerald: Blogger imposes that you have a private answer... ;))

Thanks for your visit and first time comment at Blogtrotter! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and that it brought back some memories to you. The scaffolding at Hallgrimur was a shame... ;))