iceland background information


Silfra in Þingvellir National Park. Manuscript illumination, woodcarving, and folk music have been associated with periods of heightened interest. The cost of living is very high because so many purchases from cars to paper are imported. Since WWII Iceland has maintained a high standard of living that is comparable to other Nordic countries. Iceland - Iceland - Government and society: Iceland’s constitution, which was adopted in 1944, established a parliamentary democracy with a directly elected president as head of state. Background Iceland is one of the world’s oldest democracies. A common belief in Icelandic society is that an individual who is not very busy and actively involved in his or her work is not living life fully. These fact-based works, which provided the early settlers with a source of entertainment as well as cultural heritage, represent some of the classics of world medieval literature and continue to be widely read and treasured by Icelanders. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík. The main island, which lies south of the Arctic Circle, covers an area of 103,000 km, which is roughly the size of the U.S. state of Virginia or slightly bigger than Ireland. Although the state provides financial support to the church, it extends considerable freedom. There were eruptions in the Vatnajökull area in 1983 and 1996. Iceland is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the entire world. Unlike most European countries, however, it is ethnically homogeneous, so much so that genetic researchers have used its inhabitants to study hereditary disorders and develop cures for a host of diseases. There are, however, traces of Celtic influence in the literature and in the names of people and places. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to th… However, the United States, which has assumed responsibility for Iceland's defense, maintains a naval air station at the Keflavik International Airport. Use this timeline to learn more about the history of Iceland. The area covered by Vatnajökull (Vatna Glacier), the country’s largest, is equal to the combined total area covered by all the glaciers on the continent of Europe. Iceland's present day parliament, Althing, is the oldest existing national assembly in the world. After the occupation of Denmark and Iceland's declaration of sovereignty, the island's vulnerability was responded to by British and U.S. troops. History & Background. Iceland joined the United Nations in 1946 and it is a charter member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). A study by Weingand conducted in 1989 revealed that 86 percent of well-educated Icelanders, 71 percent of the general population, and 53 percent of students reported recalling oral reading of sagas and folk-tales in the home during childhood. Information about Iceland and COVID-19. 258 Iceland HD Wallpapers and Background Images. The first settler was Ingólfur Arnarson, who settled in Reykjavík. Iceland is home to a wide variety of private and public galleries, many of which can be found in small towns and villages throughout the countryside. These holes were 790 and 1300 feet deep. Icelanders as a group are very committed to their work regardless of the specific form. Quiz. The western fjords have numerous well-sheltered harbours and good fishing grounds but little lowland suitable for agriculture. The middle west is divided between fishing and farming and has many places of great natural beauty. Iceland is an island, a European country, located midway between North America and mainland Europe. This article relates to Arctic Chill. The glaciers range in size from those in small mountain recesses to the enormous glacial caps topping extensive mountain ranges. Iceland. Earthquakes are frequent in Iceland but rarely result in serious damage. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceIceland - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education, Copyright © 2021 Web Solutions LLC. The first woman was elected to the Althing in … Iceland was founded more than 1,000 years ago during the Viking age of exploration and settled by a mixed Norse and Celtic population. Iceland, island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean. More than 13% is covered by snowfields and glaciers, and most of the people live in the 7% … Continuous eruptions took place in the Krafla area in the northeast in 1975–84, damaging a geothermal generating project in the area. The depressed zones between the basalt areas have extensive plateaus above which rise single volcanoes, table mountains, or other mountain masses with steep sides. Iceland is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) but has no standing military of its own. The new island grew to about 1 square mile (2.5 square km) in area and rose more than 560 feet (170 metres) above sea level, a total of 950 feet (290 metres) from the ocean floor. Iceland is an island nation located in Northern Europe between the Greenland Sea and the Northern Atlantic Ocean. Although increasingly integrated into the European mainstream, Icelanders take care to preserve their traditions, customs, and language. Settled by Norsemen from Scandinavia and Celts from the British isles settled in the 9 th and 10 th centuries, Icelandic history has always been shaped by events on the larger politicla stage of the Nordic Countries. An elected church congress serves as an advisory board to the church. Many of the early settlers of Iceland were small lords and kings from Norway who were fleeing the tyrrany of Harald the Fairhaired who wanted to unify Norway under one king, namely himself. The basalt sheets tend to tilt somewhat toward the centre of the country. The Evangelical Lutheran Church is the official state church, but freedom of religion exists for all other congregations. The strong Icelandic economy is based on the use of renewable natural resources and a highly educated and skilled labor force. However, Denmark did not officially recognize Iceland as its own nation until 1918. A governmental agency, the Icelandic Language Committee, was established in 1965 and officiates over all language issues. In 1915 Icelandic women were allowed to vote. View data tables. Icelanders are generally very open to new ideas and trends, and they have rapidly developed, implemented, and embraced new technology throughout their society. The capital is where the largest museums and galleries are located and among the most visited are the Culture House, Einar Jonsson Museum , … Iceland is a Scandinavian country, the world’s oldest democracy but modern in nearly every respect. Select Category. Most of the more than 5,000 residents had to be evacuated, and—although the harbour remained intact—about one-third of the town was destroyed. Iceland is the oldest democracy in the world. Iceland has a long history of farm wor… Infoplease has everything you need to know about Iceland. It is one of the most volcanic regions in the world. The population rose (despite emigration to Canada) and in 1911 Reykjavik University was founded. This quiz is based on Britannica’s list of the world’s populations, so review that before you start. Geologically young, Iceland contains about 200 volcanoes of various types. see more. Iceland is a land overflowing with water: … A main reason for this is because of the high regard placed on hard work by the people. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. With millions of visitors discovering Iceland each year, an ongoing flow of immigration, and the urban development that goes with both trends, the Iceland of yesteryear is … Nearly every district has its own museum reflecting the local cultural history, while magnificent galleries and museums grace the capitol. Eyjafjallajökull volcano, beneath an extension of Mýrdalsjökull (Mýrdals Glacier), erupted in March 2010 for the first time since 1821. Sparkling glaciers, such as Vatna Glacier (Vatnajökull), Europe’s largest, lie across its ruggedly beautiful mountain ranges; abundant hot geysers provide heat for many of the country’s homes and buildings and allow for hothouse agriculture year-round; and the offshore Gulf Stream provides a surprisingly mild climate for what is one of the northernmost inhabited places on the planet. and its Licensors The highest point is 6,952 feet (2,119 metres), at Hvannadals Peak, the top of Öræfajökull in Vatnajökull. 3. Destination Iceland, an island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean, between Europe and North America. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. English, Danish, and German are also widely spoken and understood. Today, Icelanders stand at the precipice of a new, exciting and divisive chapter in their young country’s history. This quiz will show you two countries. It’s an island isolated from the other parts of Europe, famous from the amazing nature, awesome landscapes and (since recently) a place where the Game of Thrones was filmed. The capital, Reykjavík (“Bay of Smokes”), is the site of the island’s first farmstead and is a thriving city, handsome in aspect and cosmopolitan in outlook. Iceland began to prosper once again. Iceland background information Iceland background information. In 1918 Iceland became an independent state under the Danish king. from Scotland. It is estimated that since the year 1500 about one-third of the Earth’s total lava flow has poured out of the volcanoes of Iceland. The history of Iceland is one of survival and prosperity. It is the northernmost capital in the world and is located exactly halfway between New York and Moscow. Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, with a population of 356,991 and an area of 103,000 km (40,000 sq mi), making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. In 1904 Iceland was granted home rule. Iceland, an island about the size of Kentucky, lies in the north Atlantic Ocean east of Greenland and just touches the Arctic Circle. Terms of Use, Iceland - Constitutional Legal Foundations, Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.com, Iceland - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education. During this time, the eruption of Mt. On June 17, 1944, the Republic of Iceland was formally declared at Thing-vellir. The early settlement, made up primarily of Norwegian seafarers and adventurers, fostered further excursions to Greenland and the coast of North America (which the Norse called Vinland). Located west of Scandinavia and just south of the Arctic Circle, the first confirmed settlement of Iceland was in the 9th and 10th centuries by Norsemen from Scandinavia and Scotland. The glaciers are a reminder of Iceland’s proximity to the Arctic Circle, which nearly touches its northernmost peninsula. This country updated its background information for the 2016/2017 dataset. Iceland is largely a tableland broken up by structural faults. Iceland is one of the best places to experience the Northern Lights. Northern Lights Activity. Select Type. Hekla brought physical destruction, widespread epidemics, and death. Iceland’s rugged coastline, of more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km), meets the Greenland Sea on the north, the Norwegian Sea on the east, the Atlantic Ocean on the south and west, and the Denmark Strait—which separates it from Greenland by about 200 miles (320 km)—on the northwest. Since then, Iceland has flourished into a thriving community but its population has remained one of the smallest in Europe. The centre of the country is uninhabited. More than 60 percent of the country's population resides in or near the capital city of Reykjavik ("Bay of Smokes" named for the geo-thermal stream), situated in the southwestern region of the island. It lies just below the Arctic Circle between 64 and 66 degrees north. If that's not enough, click over to our collection of world maps and flags. Although Irish monks were the first people to inhabit Iceland in the eighth century, it was not until the period extending from 870 to 930 A.D. that Iceland was systematically settled by both Norsemen from Scandanavia and Celts from the British Isles. A strong movement for linguistic purism gained strength in the nineteenth century and has persisted unabated. Reykjavík and the surrounding areas in the southwest of the country are home to over two-thirds of the population. The bishop is elected by pastors and members of the theological faculty at the University of Iceland; and the one diocese is divided into districts, which are further subdivided into parishes. During the late twelfth and the early thirteenth century, dramatic Icelandic tales of early settlement, the colonization of Greenland, romance, disputes, and the development of Iceland were translated into a rich literary tradition dominated by Sagas. Iceland, island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active with hot springs, geysers, and icefields. In 1971 and 1972 two holes were sunk some three miles north of the town Grindavik, near Svartsengi. Flights to Iceland How to get there. In this post, we have gathered interesting Iceland facts to give you some insights about this amazing country. It is northwest of the United Kingdom and has a strategic location between Greenland and Europe. The National Theater of Iceland celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in the year 2000. A major eruption took place in 1973, when a volcano on Heima Island (Heimaey) spilled lava into the town of Vestmannaeyjar, an important fishing centre. 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. Visitors to Iceland typically find the people to be courteous and friendly, are surprised by the cold yet temperate climate (mild winters and cool summers), and are struck by the breathtaking natural beauty of the country. Picture by Scuba Iceland. Illiteracy is unknown in the small island country. Type. The country is in very good economic standing with a very low unemployment rate. Updates? 1970 Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Iceland, Iceland - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Iceland - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Alkaline hot springs are found in some 250 areas throughout the country. Located 180 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland's nearest neighbor is Greenland to the west (180 miles), followed by Scotland to the south east (495 miles), and Norway to the east (590 miles). The north is divided into several smaller districts, each of which has relatively good farmland. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Independent for over 300 years, Iceland was subsequently ruled by … A new volcano erupting on the bottom of the sea between November 1963 and June 1967 created the island of Surtsey, off the southwestern coast. The country is situated on a strategic location between North America and Europe, about 840 km north west of the United Kingdom and about 460 km south east of Greenland 's coast. The volcanoes, reaching deep into the unstable interior of the Earth, are explained by the fact that Iceland is located on top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. 1. Then in 1918 Iceland was made a sovereign state sharing a monarchy with Denmark. The health-care system receives 40.5 percent of the national budget and the nation operates one of the most expensive health-care systems in the world. Vatnajökull covers an area of more than 3,000 square miles (8,000 square km) and is about 3,000 feet (900 metres) deep at its thickest point. This is its story. Its average elevation is 1,640 feet (500 metres) above sea level, but one-fourth of the country lies below 650 feet (198 metres). Whether employment involves intellectually challenging desk work, farming, or fishing, for the Icelander there seems to be an intrinsic association between one's work life and both one's personal contentment and the meaning ultimately attached to one's life. Unemployment is nearly non-existent in contemporary Iceland. There are numerous theater companies in Iceland, and Reykjavik is home to a symphony orchestra, an opera house, and a ballet company. 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. Icelandic, the national language, has changed very little from the original tongue of the Norse settlers. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Iceland was settled in 874 AD. With artists frequently deriving inspiration from the extraordinary terrain and the ancestral culture, the arts are flourishing in Iceland. Real power rests with the 63-member parliament, the Althingi (Althing). Icelandic nightlife is famous for its vibrancy, with night clubs, cafes, and cinemas in all major towns. Traditionally, Iceland has been divided according to the four points of the compass. Approximately 82 percent of Icelanders between the ages of 17 and 75 have access to the Internet at home, school, or work. Iceland’s best-known volcano, Hekla, erupted four times in the 20th century: in 1947, 1970, 1980, and 1991; it also had a series of small eruptions in 2000. Iceland was under Danish rule until the late 19th century, when they created their own constitution. The oldest rocks were formed about 16 million years ago. The book of settlements ( Landnámabók ), which contains information on four hundred settlers, was compiled in the twelfth century. Literacy has been universal in Iceland since the end of the eighteenth century. Identify the one with the larger population. The infamous Sturlung Age, which followed the era of peace, was marked by political treachery and violence. Despite physical isolation, Iceland has maintained its place in European civilization. The result of this drilling was very promising and proved among other things, that this was a ‘high temper… Despite its physical isolation some 500 miles (800 km) from Scotland—its nearest European neighbour—Iceland has remained throughout its history very much a part of European civilization. Much of the uninhabited regions, encompassing more than 80 percent of the island, are covered with permanent snow and ice (glaciers) or volcanic surface, preventing many agricultural activities. The largest, Deildartunguhver, emits nearly 50 gallons (190 litres) of boiling water per second. The landscape in basaltic areas is one of plateau and fjord, characterized by successive layers of lava visible one above the other on the valley sides. Denmark's hold on Iceland was significantly reduced in 1874 when a constitution was drafted granting Iceland permission to handle domestic affairs. In the post WWII era, Iceland has based its foreign policy on peaceful international cooperation and has participated in Western defense efforts. The Republic of Iceland, the setting for Hannah Kent's debut novel Burial Rites, has a deep and intriguing history.. The medical and welfare systems are jointly financed through taxation by the national and local government. crofts standing at the foot of the mountains or sheltering on the southern slope of a ridge, each with a little brook running through the home-field, marshy land beyond, and a river flowing smoothly through the marsh. All Icelandic youth are expected to work as soon as possible, particularly during the summer months when school is out of session. Painting in particular has thrived since the end of the nineteenth century. All Rights Reserved The southern lowland comprises the main farming region. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Much of Iceland is underlain by basalt, a dark rock of igneous origin. The enlightened period of peace, or the "Golden Age," lasted 200 years until internal feuds resulting in civil war led to submission to the king of Norway and a new monarchical code in 1271. Roughly 90-94 percent of Icelanders are Protestants (73 percent Evangelical Lutheran) and 1 percent are Catholic. Background: Settled by Norwegian and Celtic (Scottish and Irish) immigrants during the late 9th and 10th centuries A.D., Iceland boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly, the Althing, established in 930.Independent for over 300 years, Iceland was subsequently ruled by Norway and Denmark. Looking for facts about Iceland? It lies about 4,200 kilometers (2,600 mi.) Many Icelanders, for example, still believe in elves, trolls, and other figures in the mythical landscape of the Norse past, while even Icelanders who live in cities harbour a vision of their country as a pastoral land, in the words of Nobel Prize-winning author Halldór Laxness, of. Scandinavian sailors discovered Iceland in the mid-ninth century, and the first settler recognized in the literary-historical tradition, Ingólfur Arnason, arrived in 874. Omissions? Iceland Foods is a unique British food retailer with over 900 stores throughout the UK, a further 40 owned or franchised stores across Europe, and a global export business. Download for free on all your devices - Computer, Smartphone, or Tablet. Independent Guðni Jóhannesson, a historian, was elected in 2016 to the largely ceremonial presidency. Iceland's interior consists mostly of uninhabited mountains and high plateaus. 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