Coordinates: 64°01′N 21°58′W / 64.02°N 21.97°W /
May 2017 view over Hafnarfjörður's town center
Coat of arms
Coat of arms of Hafnarfjarðarkaupstaður
Location of the municipality
Haraldur L. Haraldsson
143 km2 (55 sq mi)
191.31/km2 (495.5/sq mi)
220, 221, 222
Hafnarfjörður is a port town and municipality located on the
southwest coast of Iceland, about 10 km (6 mi) south of
It is the third-most populous city in Iceland, after
Hafnarfjörður has established local industry and a
variety of urban activities, with annual festival events.
2 Local industry
4 Local festivals
4.1 Bright days
5 Swimming pools
6 Twin towns and cities
8 In popular culture
9 Notable people
10 See also
12 External links
The town is the site of an annual
Viking festival, where Viking
culture enthusiasts from around the world display reconstructions of
Viking garb, handicraft, sword-fighting, etc.
Tourists with a New Age mindset enjoy a guided tour of the habitats of
elves and other hidden people in the town area.
Hafnarfjörður is now arguably considered to be the rock n' roll
Iceland (a title that once belonged to Keflavík). Popular
Icelandic bands such as Botnleðja, HAM, Sign,
Lada Sport and
Jakobínarína all trace their origins to the town of Hafnarfjörður.
Just two kilometers (1.2 miles) outside of
Hafnarfjörður is an
aluminium smelter, run by Alcan.
Alcan has applied for an extension
for the smelter, which will make it the fourth-largest smelter in
Europe. The local governing body has sold
Alcan land for the
Alcan has received permission for the extension from the
government and a deal has been struck for selling energy to the
smelter, even though the neighbouring area is the only place around
Hafnarfjörður with available domestic building area for
The smelter was originally built in 1969, and it has improved its
cleaning process since then, especially regarding fluoride. The effect
that the extension would have on the environment and the local
residents was, though, a huge concern for the people of
Local elections were held in May 2006, where the people of the town
voted against extension of the smelter.
Population 1910 - 2015
Hafnarfjörður takes its name (meaning harbour fjord) from the area's
excellent natural harbour. The town is first named in the medieval
Landnámabók, and the earliest reports of voyages to Hafnarfjörður
date from the end of the 14th century. Englishmen began trading in
Hafnarfjörður in the 15th century, but German merchants followed in
their wake and eventually drove the English out. The first Lutheran
Iceland was raised at Háigrandi, opposite Óseyri, just
outside the small boat harbour in 1533. After that, the Hanseatic
traders prevailed in town until 1602, based at Hvaleyri. At this
point, the Danish monarchy established a Danish trade monopoly in
Iceland which lasted until late in the 18th century. During this
Hafnarfjörður was the nation's busiest trade centre.
In 1793, Bjarni Sívertsen settled here and became influential in
local business and international trade, setting up a major commercial
fishing operation. His enterprise and initiative signaled the start of
impressive commerce in the town. Ever since, he has been called "the
father of Hafnarfjörður" and nicknamed "Sir Bjarni." Around 1870,
dramatic changes took place in Icelandic fishing. Residents followed
the growing trend in
Iceland of using decked boats rather than
row-boats. This led to even more employment and rapid growth, and
Hafnarfjörður attained official municipal status in 1908. The first
mayor was Páll Einarsson, who later became the mayor of Reykjavík.
The first road between
Hafnarfjörður was finished in
1898. The first hydrological power plant in
Iceland was built in
Hafnarfjörður in 1904.
The Coot, Iceland's first trawler, operated from Hafnarfjörður
between 1905 and 1908. Its boiler stands by the roundabout on the
junction of Reykjavíkurvegur, Strandgata and Vesturgata. A harbour
for large commercial ships was raised in 1912, and the first car
arrived in 1913.
After World War II, more advanced trawlers and numerous motorised
ships were added to the fleet. The town's first stern trawler appeared
in 1973. Today,
Hafnarfjörður is one of the nation's largest fishing
centers and the site of Iceland's first fish wholesalers' auction
market. Through the years, Hafnarfjörður's dynamic local economy has
been strongly linked to fishing, although freight transport has
recently become the major harbour activity. And now, the town is
Iceland's second-ranked import and export harbour.
Each year in May, the Bright Days festival is held. The events include
short movies and concerts and usually conclude on a day commemorating
the sailors of Iceland.
Each year on the summer solstice a
Viking festival is held in
Hafnarfjörður. A local pub and restaurant, Fjörukráin, started the
festival and maintains it to this day.
Hafnarfjörður has three swimming pools, despite its low population.
This is common for any town in Iceland, due to the geothermal energy.
Twin towns and cities
Sweden (Since 1947)
There are two major sport clubs in
Hafnarfjörður the first being
Fimleikafélag Hafnarfjarðar (FH) which have won the Icelandic
premier football league, Pepsi-Deildin eight times between 2004 and
2016(2004-2005-2006-2008-2009-2012-2015-2016). FH have won the
Icelandic Handball league in total of 25 times and have won the cup 6
times which makes them the most successful team competing in Icelandic
The second club is Knattspyrnufélagið Haukar.
Haukar have a
magnificent history in handball with many titles.
champions in 1943, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010 and
2015 and cup holders in 1980, 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2010.
Hafnarfjörður also has a gymnastics club, Fimleikafélagið Björk,
established on 1 July 1951.
Local swimming club, Sundfélag Hafnarfjarðar (SH), was established
on 19 June 1945. The triathlon club 3SH, is part of the club.
Keilir Golf Club is an 18-hole golf club and course located on the
In popular culture
In the 1986 novel
Red Storm Rising
Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy, the Soviet Union
gains a dramatic strategic advantage at the beginning of the war by
Iceland with a Guards Airborne division transported secretly
by converted freighters. When the US Marine Corps retake Iceland, they
initially land at
Hafnarfjörður before advancing on Keflavik.
Additionally, in the novella, The Odd Saga of the American and a
Curious Icelandic Flock, Snorri calls Alex in the middle of the
night to tell him that he is passing through
Hafnarfjörður and will
be picking him up shortly for a trip to Snæfellsnes.
Logi Geirsson, former handballer
Ragnheiður Gestsdóttir, children's book author
Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir, photographer, artist
Ólafur Guðmundsson, handball player
Hafnarfjörður is the home town of the famous Icelandic pop singer
Björgvin Halldórsson as well as the Abstract artists, Guðmundur
Karl and Patrick Karl
Emil Hallfreðsson, footballer who plays for
Serie A club Udinese
Geir Hallsteinsson, former handballer
Jakobínarína are from here
Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir
Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir (Yohanna) was born in Copenhagen but
raised in Hafnarfjörður, she was chosen to represent
Iceland at the
Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow, Russia with the song "Is It
True?", earning her 2nd place
Current home to Magnús Ver Magnússon
Aron Pálmarsson, handballer in THW Kiel
Jón Páll Sigmarsson, 4-time winner of the World's Strongest Man
Sesselja Sigmundsdóttir (born
Hafnarfjörður 5 July 1902)
Gylfi Sigurðsson, footballer currently plays for English club Everton
in the Premier League
Sóley (musician), indie pop singer-songwriter
Stefán Karl Stefánsson, actor, most known for his role as Robbie
Rotten on the hit children's TV series, LazyTown
Eyþór Þorláksson, musician
Jón Jónsson, pop singer-songwriter and also a footballer for
Fimleikafélag Hafnarfjarðar football club
Friðrik Dór, pop singer-songwriter and brother of Jón Jónsson
List of cities and towns in Iceland
^ "Hagstofa Íslands". Retrieved 2016-03-30.
^ "Iceland: The Trawler Coot". Stampnews.com. 2004-03-13. Retrieved
^ "Twin Cities of Tartu". ©2007 City of Tartu. Retrieved
Frederiksberg Municipality - Twin Towns" (in Danish). ©2007 -2009.
Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 9 September
^ "The Odd Saga of the American and a Curious Icelandic Flock". Google
Books. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hafnarfjörður.
Hafnarfjörður travel guide from Wikivoyage
Official website (in Icelandic)
Cities and towns in Iceland
Vík í Mýrdal
Municipalities of Iceland
Eyja- og Miklaholtshreppur
Grímsnes- og Grafningshreppur
Skeiða- og Gnúpverjahreppur
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