Currency: Icelandic Krona (ISK)
Calling Code: 354
Iceland, officially the Republic of Iceland, is a
sovereign country located in the extreme northwest of Europe, whose
territory encompasses the homonymous island and some small adjacent
islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean, between the rest of Europe
and Greenland. It has a population of about 350,000 inhabitants and
an area of 103,000 km², because of its location on the
mid-Atlantic ridge, it is a country with great volcanic and
geological activity, a factor that greatly affects the landscape of
the Icelandic territory. The interior of the country consists of a
plateau characterized by deserts, mountains, glaciers and glacial
rivers that flow into the sea through the lowlands. Thanks to the
effects of the Gulf Stream, it has a temperate climate in relation
to its latitude and provides a habitable environment.
The first human settlement in Iceland dates back to the year 874 when, according to the Landnámabók or "Settlement Book", the Norwegian leader Ingólfur Arnarson became the island's first permanent settler.Other navigators, such as the Faroese Viking Naddoddr, possible discoverer, visited the island around the year 860 to spend the winter in it. However, they never founded a permanent settlement there, and over the following centuries, human groups of Nordic and Gaelic origin settled in Iceland. Until the twentieth century, the Icelandic population depended on fishing and agriculture, and from 1262 to 1944 it was part of the kingdom of Norway and, later, of Denmark. In the 20th century it gained its independence and the Icelandic economy developed rapidly, despite its isolation from the world due to its geographical location.
Today it has a market economy, with relatively low taxes compared to other OECD members, maintaining a welfare state that provides universal health care and free higher education to its citizens. the most affluent countries, and in 2009 it was classified by the United Nations as the ninth most developed country in the world.
In 2008, the Icelandic financial system suffered a collapse, causing a strong economic contraction and demonstrations that led to the advance of parliamentary elections, in which Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir won the post of prime minister. At the same time, what was known as the Icelandic Revolution, a series of protests and movements of citizen organization that, together with the new Government, resulted in the indictment of the former Prime Minister of Iceland during the crisis, Geir Haarde, two referendums to decide on the payment of the external debt of the national banks and a citizen process that led to changes in the Constitution that culminated in a constitutional draft on July 29, 2011 to be debated in Parliament.
Iceland has a developed and technologically advanced society whose culture is based on the Nordic heritage. The majority of the population is of Celtic and Scandinavian origin. The official language is Icelandic, a northern Germanic language that is closely related to Faroese and Western dialects of Norwegian. The country's cultural heritage includes its traditional cuisine, art and literature.
|Höfn í Hornafjörður
|Lagarfljót Lake Monster|
Iceland was settled in the 9th century as a result
of the unification of Norway under the rule of King Harald I. Many
families who came into conflict with Harald were forced to flee in
search of a new place to live.
As the population settled in Iceland, a state system was formed. In each area there was a ting (assembly, analogue of the veche), on which judgment was adjudicated and disputes resolved; To solve the most important issues, representatives of the regions gathered at the beginning of summer for alting under the control of a special person - the law-governing agent. For the first time, the althing was convened in 930, and it is from this date that the era of democracy is reckoned.
In 1262, Iceland was forced to sign the so-called “Old Treaty” with Norway, according to which it recognized the supreme power of the Norwegian kings, and those, in turn, were obliged to send to the Icelanders annually several ships with timber, grain and other goods. The dynastic migration of power in the Scandinavian countries accordingly changed the subordination of Iceland.
On February 23, 1551, an uprising broke out in Iceland against Danish rule. The impetus for the uprising was the execution of the last Icelandic Catholic bishop, Ion Aranson and his sons. The rebel Icelanders killed all the Danes on the island, however, the punitive expedition of the Danish King Christian III was not difficult to restore order in a small country. In 1567, weapons were taken away from the Icelandic peasants, and they had to put up with foreign domination for a long time.
After the dissolution of the Danish-Norwegian Union in 1814, the island possessions of Norway, including Iceland, were left as part of Denmark. In 1845, the parliament was recreated as a legislative body. He received the Old Icelandic name "alting."
As a result of more than a hundred years of peaceful struggle for independence, December 1, 1918, Iceland was declared an independent kingdom in a personal union with Denmark. During World War II, the German occupation of Denmark on April 9, 1940, broke Iceland's dependence on Denmark. In May 1940, Great Britain captured Iceland and in 1941 transferred the right to occupy the US islands. Since June 17, 1944, Iceland gained full independence and became a republic.