And, check out my Instagram highlight reel on Instagram for videos and commentary from my trip. Iceland literally feels like a breath of fresh (albeit cold) air. Therefore, I am excited to share these 30 interesting & fun facts about Iceland with you. 6. According to the same account, the Irish monks abandoned the country when the Norse arrived or had left prior to their arrival. They are smaller than most horses but are strong. Iceland is the oldest democracy in the world. At least 144 of the combatants died during World War I (96 in combat, 19 from wounds suffered during combat, 2 from accidents, and 27 from disease), 61 of them were Iceland-born. [60], occurrences and people in Iceland throughout history, Civil war and the end of the commonwealth, Iceland under Norwegian and Danish kings (1262–1944), NATO membership, US defense agreement, and the Cold War, "Iceland was therefore peacefully occupied by Britain on 10 May 1940," says, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, The 9th-century Irish monk and geographer, Solrun B. Jensdottir Hardarson, "The 'Republic of Iceland' 1940–44: Anglo-American Attitudes and Influences,", United Kingdom invaded and peacefully occupied it, Denmark was overrun by the German Wehrmacht, Iceland severed its remaining ties with Denmark, Iceland's strategic importance during the Cold War, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Jürgen Schieber, University of Indiana. On 31 December 1943, the Act of Union agreement expired after 25 years. It has been suggested that the land called Thule by the Greek geographer Pytheas (fourth century BC) was actually Iceland, although it seems highly unlikely considering Pytheas' description of it as an agricultural country with plenty of milk, honey, and fruit:[7] the name is more likely to have referred to Norway, or possibly the Faroe Islands or Shetland. According to the Landnámabók, Iceland was discovered by Naddodd, one of the first settlers in the Faroe Islands, who was sailing from Norway to the Faroes but lost his way and drifted to the east coast of Iceland. Iceland was still uninhabited long after the rest of Western Europe had been settled. However, greenhouses are being used to grow other vegetables. 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 uses geothermal energy. (YEAH!). Settlements from that era have been found in southwest Greenland and eastern Canada, and sagas such as Saga of Erik the Red and Greenland saga speak of the settlers' exploits. It was considered essential to keep unemployment down and to protect the export fishing industry through currency manipulation and other means. Icelanders are Christian. However, if you want to see the Northern Lights you should go to Iceland in the fall or winter. Its economy is one of the most productive economies in the world, per-capita, and it is annually considered to be one of greenest countries on the planet, due in large parts to its vast renewable energy resources. During the 11th and 12th centuries, the centralization of power had worn down the institutions of the commonwealth, as the former, notable independence of local farmers and chieftains gave way to the growing power of a handful of families and their leaders. [28] Iceland's competent governance of internal affairs and relations with other states—while relations with Denmark were interrupted during the war—showed that Iceland was capable of acquiring further powers, which resulted in Denmark recognizing Iceland as a fully sovereign state in 1918. This fact makes Iceland a fairly “young” country when it comes to settlement, and also contributes to its distinct … Iceland announces the recruitment of two industry stars, Neil Nugent and David Lennox, to create a new food development team for the Iceland brand. 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. No such artifacts have been discovered by archaeologists, however. [39][40] According to one study, "by the end of World War II, Iceland had been transformed from one of Europe’s poorest countries to one of the world’s wealthiest."[39]. Iceland History Iceland was founded by the Vikings. The earliest inhabitants of Iceland were Irish hermits, who left the island upon the arrival of the pagan Norse people in the late 9th century. [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]. The British invaded Iceland during World War II.. After Germany invaded Denmark in 1940, the Allies feared the Nazis... 2. The Icelandic government has banned prostitution in 2009and banned strip clubs in 2010. According to this account, the previous inhabitants, a few Irish monks known as the Papar, left the island since they did not want to live with pagan Norsemen. Today, Iceland is a progressive, modern society that continuously ranks at the top of measurement's for quality of life, such as the United Nations Human Development Index. It is located just south of the Arctic Circle about 180 miles (290 kilometers) … They rarely have diseases. [14] A serfdom-like institution called the vistarband developed, in which peasants were bound to landowners for a year at a time. "University of Michigan Law School Faculty & Staff", Bloodtaking and Peacemaking: Feud, Law, and Society in Saga Iceland, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=History_of_Iceland&oldid=994656638, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2009, Articles needing additional references from July 2014, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Íslenska kirkjan í elstu tíð (The early Icelandic church) 1030–1152, Ísland undir stjórn Noregskonunga og uppgangur kennimanna (Norwegian royal rule and the rise of the clergy) 1262–1400, Kirkjuvald (Ecclesiastical power) 1400–1550, Einveldi og einokun (Absolutism and monopoly trading) 1683–1800, Viðreisnarbarátta (Campaign for restoration [of past glories]) 1801–1874, Colonisation and Commonwealth c. 870–1262, A primitive society builds a state 1809–1918. [45] Use this timeline to learn more about the history of Iceland. Danish King Christian X sent a message of congratulations to the Icelandic people. Learn about Iceland's history and its people. [49][50][51], During these disputes, Iceland threatened closure of the U.S. base at Keflavík, and the withdrawal of its NATO membership. She is an award-winning travel blogger, Amazon bestselling author and speaker. A joke I heard in Iceland: “What do you do if you get lost in an Icelandic forest? In no particular order, here are 30 interesting & fun facts about Iceland. Iceland apparently has no prehistory. 22. [30], Icelandic post-World War I prosperity came to an end with the outbreak of the Great Depression, a severe worldwide economic crash. [33] They behaved accordingly, and there were no mishaps. In 1944, Iceland rescinded its union with Denmark. The first people to settle in Iceland were probably Irish monks who came in the 8th century. Small picturesque villages dot the shoreline all across the … Iceland is a country of extreme geological contrasts. While covered in ice, Iceland's icefalls, fjords and valleys were formed. Iceland’s population is young, with close to 40% under the age of 18. Church fast days increased demand for dried codfish, which was easily caught and prepared for export, and the cod trade became an important part of the economy.[14]. The only native land mammal present … Just like the U.S. and many parts of Europe, Iceland went through a … [28][29] It has been argued that the thirst for news of the war helped Morgunblaðið to gain a dominant position among Icelandic newspapers. Subscribe to the newsletter & receive FREE Packing & To-Do lists for your International Vacation! Because of the country's dependence both on reliable fish catches and foreign demand for fish products, Iceland's economy remained unstable well into the 1990s, when the country's economy was greatly diversified. Recent archaeological excavations have revealed the ruins of a cabin in Hafnir on the Reykjanes peninsula (close to Keflavík International Airport). [33] As a result, on 10 April, the Parliament of Iceland took temporary control of foreign affairs (setting up what would be the forerunner of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs) and the Coast Guard. It is illegal to own a pet lizard, snake or turtle in Iceland. In fact, Iceland prohibits the import of any other horses. [42][43], The new republican government, led by an unlikely three-party majority cabinet made up of conservatives (the Independence Party, Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn), social democrats (the Social Democratic Party, Alþýðuflokkurinn), and socialists (People's Unity Party – Socialist Party, Sósíalistaflokkurinn), decided to put the funds into a general renovation of the fishing fleet, the building of fish processing facilities, the construction of a cement and fertilizer factory, and a general modernization of agriculture. In 874 Viking explorers from Norway & the British Isles settled on the island. This government continued with free market policies, privatising two commercial banks and the state-owned telecom Landssíminn. Learn some interesting information about Iceland while enjoying a range of fun facts and trivia that's perfect for kids! The First Cod War (1958–1961) was fought over Iceland's extension from 4 to 12 nautical miles (7 to 22 km). Facts About the History of Iceland: 1. I really enjoyed the food in Iceland. In the year 1000, as a civil war between the religious groups seemed likely, the Alþingi appointed one of the chieftains, Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi, to decide the issue of religion by arbitration. After the end of the Kalmar Union, the royal government asserted greater control of Iceland. It remains the most sparsely … Therefore, the cost of electricity is cheap compared to other countries. There are a however some things raise the eyebrows of tourists travelling in Iceland. Nonetheless, the Christian clergy had unique opportunities to accumulate wealth via the tithe, and power gradually shifted to ecclesiastical authorities as Iceland's two bishops in Skálholt and Hólar acquired land at the expense of the old chieftains. [13], English and German merchants became more prominent in Iceland at the start of the 15th century. According to the Landnámabók, he threw two carved pillars (Öndvegissúlur) overboard as he neared land, vowing to settle wherever they landed. Iceland continues to remain outside the European Union. Audacity Fest: the conference the Black travel community needs & deserves. In 930, the ruling chiefs established an assembly called the Alþingi (Althing). Norway's consolidation of power in Iceland was slow, and the Althing intended to hold onto its legislative and judicial power. Weekend Getaway to Long Island: Things to Do. [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. [24], 1,245 Icelanders, Icelandic Americans, and Icelandic Canadians were registered as soldiers during World War I. 13. Iceland is a small island nation that is Europe's westernmost country and home to the world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavik. However, the Irish and Scottish also settled in Iceland. https://listverse.com/2013/12/15/10-cool-facts-about-iceland ‘The Process of State-Formation in Medieval Iceland’, Viator. Identification. The membership came amid an anti-NATO riot in Iceland. Norway's consolidation of power in Iceland was slow, and the Althing intended to hold onto its legislative and judicial power. Widely known as “The Land of Fire and Ice” Iceland is home to some of the largest glaciers in Europe, and some of the world’s most active volcanoes. Learn some interesting information about Iceland while enjoying a range of fun facts and trivia that's perfect for kids! It is a clear unsweetened schnapps. 74. Naturally isolated and surrounded on all sides by the majestic, lapping waves of the Atlantic, the foreboding landmass that is Iceland has a geological history entirely sculpted by its placement on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, thousands of metres below the water’s surface.Originating from the “Iceland Plume”—an upwelling of hot, volcanic rock—Iceland … 229 Views. The United States provided extensive economic patronage, advocated on Iceland's behalf in international organizations, allowed Iceland to violate the rules of international organizations, and helped Iceland to victory in the Cod Wars. Iceland was actually ruled by Denmark until 1944. The period from around 1200 to 1262 is generally known as the Age of the Sturlungs. I brought a bottle home but I have not tried it yet. The “blue” color is due to the high silica content. 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