I was told it is not because Icelanders are very religious. On 17 June 1944, the Republic of Iceland was founded at Thingvellir, Iceland’s national shrine. [1] Due to the island's strategic position in the North Atlantic, the Allies occupied the island until the end of the war, with the United States taking over occupation duties from the British in 1941. Silfra is a fissure between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. This period is referred to therefore as the þjóðveldisöld or goðaveldisöld (National or Chieftain State) period by Icelandic authors, and the Old Commonwealth or Freestate by English ones. Fall in Atlanta: Fun & Fabulous Places to Visit. Social Democrat minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was appointed Prime Minister, becoming the world's first openly homosexual head of government of the modern era. The Sophisticated Life Blog covers affordable luxury travel, culinary travel and wine. But, artifacts found on the island show evidence of Irish Monks prior to the appearance of Norwegians. 10 Things You Should Know About Iceland 1. I took extensive notes and turned them into this informative article on Iceland. Unlike Norway, Denmark did not need Iceland's fish and homespun wool. The United States closed the Keflavík Air Base in September 2006. [15] The Icelandic trade was important to some British ports; for example, in Hull, the Icelandic trade accounted for more than ten percent of Hull's total trade. 10. [49][50][51], It is rare for militarized interstate disputes of this magnitude and intensity to occur between two democracies with as close economic, cultural, and institutional ties as Iceland and the UK.[51][52]. [13] Some historians refer to the 15th century as the "English Age" in Iceland's history, due to the prominence of English traders and fishing fleets. 72. The vote was 97% in favour of ending the union and 95% in favour of the new republican constitution. In 1220, Snorri Sturluson became a vassal of Haakon IV of Norway; his nephew Sturla Sighvatsson also became a vassal in 1235. Except for a brief interruption from 1799-1844, Iceland’s independent commonwealth has been governed by the Althingi parliament since 930, the world’s oldest extant parliamentary institution. The period from around 1200 to 1262 is generally known as the Age of the Sturlungs. Iceland was settled by Vikings from Norway sometime in the 800s. The first Norseman who deliberately sailed to Garðarshólmi was Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson. In 1602, Iceland was forbidden to trade with countries other than Denmark, by order of the Danish government, which at this time pursued mercantilist policies. In the past these bears were killed once in Iceland. By the 1930s the consensus in Iceland was to seek complete independence by 1944 at the latest. Iceland is a small island nation that is Europe's westernmost country and home to the world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavik. The ensuing starvation killed a quarter of Iceland's population. There are around 1,300 species of insects (but almost no mosquitos). [46][48], The Cod Wars were a series of militarized interstate disputes between Iceland and the United Kingdom from the 1950s to the mid-1970s. Mauna Loa: Earth's Largest Volcano", ”New View on the Origin of First Settlers in Iceland”, "Politics and Courtly Culture in Iceland, 1200-1700", "Iceland's External Affairs from 1400 to the Reformation: Anglo-German Economic and Societal Shelter in a Danish Political Vacuum", "Iceland's External Affairs from the Napoleonic Era to the occupation of Denmark: Danish and British Shelter", "Hve margir Íslendingar dóu í seinni heimsstyrjöldinni? [17] This period is known as the Móðuharðindin or "Mist Hardships". Although Iceland was neutral in the Second World War, the United Kingdom invaded and peacefully occupied it in 1940 to forestall a Nazi occupation, after Denmark was overrun by the German Wehrmacht. Cruising the Mediterranean Sea on Norwegian Epic. By 930, the chieftains had established a form of governance, the Althing, making it one of the world's oldest parliaments. In July 1941, responsibility for Iceland's occupation and defence passed to the United States under a U.S.-Icelandic agreement which included a provision that the U.S. recognize Iceland's absolute independence. "[46][47] Iceland repeatedly threatened to leave NATO or cancel the US defence agreement during the Cold War, which is one reason why the United States went to great lengths to please the Icelanders. Icelanders joke that they should be Greenland and Greenland should be Iceland. Iceland remained under Norwegian kingship until 1380, when the death of Olaf II of Denmark extinguished the Norwegian male royal line. Due to Iceland's strategic importance during the Cold War, it was important for the U.S. and NATO to maintain the base on Icelandic soil and to keep Iceland as a member of NATO. The earliest sources on Icelandic history are the Íslendingabók (“Book of the Icelanders”, c. 12th century CE) and the Landnámabók (“Book of the Settlements”, c. 13th century CE). Iceland is a country that many people have little to no knowledge of. VIKING ICELAND. Iceland Facts for Kids. Iceland apparently has no prehistory. This eradicated unemployment in Iceland and raised wages considerably. And if any Icelandic horses leave the island they are not allowed to return. 2. The official language of Iceland is Icelandic. Norwegians fled from Norway to Iceland due to an unfavorable King at that time. The last glacial period, commonly referred to as The Ice Age is thought to have begun about 110,000 years ago and ended about 10,000 years ago. 7. I also had gin cocktails while in Iceland and they were yummy. The water is supplied by a nearby geothermal power station. One theory suggests that those monks were members of a Hiberno-Scottish mission, Irish and Scottish monks who spread Christianity during the Middle Ages. Towards the end of the tenth century, Christianity came to Iceland through the influence of the Norwegian king Olaf Tryggvason. Some Icelanders claimed descent from Cerball mac Dúnlainge, King of Osraige in southeastern Ireland, at the time of the Landnámabók's creation. ‘The Process of State-Formation in Medieval Iceland’, Viator. Archeological findings in Reykjavík are consistent with the date given there: there was a settlement in Reykjavík around 870. The oldest stone specimens found in Iceland date back to ca. [23][24][25] In their attempts to stop the Icelanders from trading with the Germans indirectly, the British imposed costly and time-consuming constraints on Icelandic exports going to the Nordic countries. 3. 71. Norway (and thus Iceland) then became part of the Kalmar Union, along with Sweden and Denmark, with Denmark as the dominant power. Recent archaeological excavations have revealed the ruins of a cabin in Hafnir on the Reykjanes peninsula (close to Keflavík International Airport). German ships were all about, however, until the British blockade of Germany put a stop to that when the war began in September. While it is convenient to divide history into named periods, it is also misleading because the course of human events neither starts nor ends abruptly in most cases, and movements and influences often overlap. Iceland has very small trees and sparse forests. 71. Icelanders eat a lot of licorice, fermented shark, whales and even the puffins . In terms of ethnicity-89% are Icelandic, 5% Polish, 1% Lithuanian and 5% other. Here too they form themselves into a commonwealth. On 12 August 2006, the last four F-15's left Icelandic airspace. 989 fought for Canada, whereas 256 fought for the United States. She is an award-winning travel blogger, Amazon bestselling author and speaker. You can go snorkeling in this area. The parliament convened each summer at Þingvellir, where representative chieftains (Goðorðsmenn or Goðar) amended laws, settled disputes and appointed juries to judge lawsuits. Many of the early settlers of Iceland were small lords and kings from Norway who were … Opposition to the reformation ended in 1550 when Jón Arason was captured after being defeated in the Battle of Sauðafell by loyalist forces under the leadership of Daði Guðmundsson. It is also believed that the western fjords of Norway were simply overcrowded in this period. In addition to this, the country received the most Marshall Aid per capita of any European country in the immediate postwar years (at US$209, with the war-ravaged Netherlands a distant second at US$109). I really enjoyed the food in Iceland. I highly recommend the Reykjavik Konsulat Hotel, Curio Collection from Hilton. People from Norway, Denmark and Sweden were the first to settle in Iceland from as early as 870. The island was settled by the Norse seafarers in the ninth century; they established the world's first known republic and parliament in about AD 930. While definitely European/Scandinavian in nature, the country of Iceland is unique in so many ways that I felt its quirkiness deserved an entire post of its own. 8. However, there is a push to try and capture and return the polar bears vs killing them. The Creator and Editor of the Sophisticated Life. It remains the most sparsely … 10 women of Icelandic descent and 4 women born in Iceland served as nurses for the Allies during World War I. Norwegians fled from Norway to Iceland … Find out what's unique about Icelandic traditions and customs and discover extensive culture and nightlife guides. 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