History of Reykjavik - from farm to city
This exhibition on the history of Reykjavik was opened in the year 2000. The aim is to show the principal features of the community's development from the settlement in the 9th century to present time. The exhibition is based largely on extensive archaeological research on the island of Videy and elsewhere, the story of the "Inrettingar", Reykjavik's first industrial enterprise, items from the 19th and 20th centuries, and the story of the city´s expansion.
A short account of the History of Reykjavik
The history of Reykjavik starts with the settlement of Iceland, written sources telling that the first settler, Ingolfur Arnarson, claimed land at a site in what is now the city centre. Reykjavik was an agricultural holding through the years, both a church estate and a manor farm. Around the middle of the 18th century, a village grew up there in connection with a wool factory founded by the sheriff Skuli Magnusson. The town received its municipal charter in 1786. During the 19th century, Reykjavik became a trading and administrative centre for the whole country, and its population of craftsmen, fishermen and labourers grew. During the 20th century, dramatic changes took place in employment and living conditions, bringing the town into the modern world.
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