Sunday, February 06, 2011

Day 7--Reykjavik and Independence Day

Day 7-Reykjavik

Today was our last day in Iceland, it also happened to be Iceland's independence day.

While people had visited Icleand as early as 830 AD, it wasn't until 874 AD that a permanent was established when a Norwegian chieftain, Ingólfur Arnarson, settled in what is present day Reykjavik. With the establishment of a legislative and judiciary parliament in 930 AD, Iceland officially became the Icelandic Commonwealth. The Icelandic Commonwealth lasted until 1262 when it was brought under the Norwegian Crown. Iceland was passed to Denmark-Norway in 1320, and remained a dependent of that kingdom until the Napoleonic Wars when Denmark and Norway split, at which time Iceland was passed to Denmark. Independence movements began in the 1870, and in 1918, Iceland signed the Act of Union to last for 25 years, which recognized Iceland as a fully sovereign state in a union with the Denmark. When the 25 year agreement was up, Icelanders voted to terminate the personal union with the King of Denmark. Iceland became a republic on 17 June 1944.

Traditional Icelandic dress

Main independence service
(from what I could gather many high ranking government officials were in attendance)

Reykjavik is a beautiful city on the southwest coast of Iceland. It has a population of around 120,000 and is the world's most Northern capital. I've always been drawn to the clean lines and the vibrant colors of Scandinavian architecture and Reyjavik didn't disapoint-it was beautiful with colorful and charming buildings, tree lined streets, and adorable parks.

At the center of town lies the Tjornin (pond). It's a gathering place for the city and you'll find people walking it's vast shores, visiting on one of the many benches, or you'll see children feeding the many ducks.



Rekyjavik's main street getting all decorated for the independence celebrations.

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