874< Some Irish families and hermits had moved here
and settled, long before the Norvegians started their
850 Naddodur, the Norvegian viking, discovered
Iceland accidentally and named it “Snowland”.
855 The Swedish viking, Gardar Svavarsson sailed
around the country and could confirm, that it was an
island. He named it “Gardarsholmi”.
874 Ingolfur Arnarsson spearheaded the wave of
immigrants from Norway.
930 At the end of the socalled “Age of Settlement”, when the
country was almost fully settled, the 36 chieftains decided
to found the country’s common parliament at Thingvellir.
999 Leif the lucky explored the eastern coastal areas
of North America. He discovered Newfoundland (Vinland the
good) and probably founded the settlement at Lance aux
1000 Christianity was peacefully adobted by law by
the mixed pagan and christian population, mostly for
1006 Duelling was banned by law by the parliament.
1104 A massif and poisonous Hekla eruption devastated
large areas, caused the death of many people, and killed
live stock. The prosperous Thjorsa Valley was wiped out.
1117/1119 The icelandic law was eventually written by
Haflidi Masson (Haflidaskra).
1120> The beginning of the writing of the saga
literature. Ari the learned wrote the “History of the
Icelanders”, beginning with the “Age of Settlement” and up
1244 Floabardagi – The Bay Sea Battle took place on
Hunafloi Bay. The only mentionable one fought off the
coastline of Iceland during the latter Saga period.
1262 The Icelandic parliament swore the Norwegian
crown allegiance, thus ending the nation’s independence.
1343 The first person to be burnt on the stake in
Iceland was Sister Katrin, who was found guilty of selling
her soul to the devil.
1380 Norway passed its rule of Iceland to the Danish
1402 Close to one third of the Icelandic population
was killed by the plague called “The Black Death”.
1530 The bishop of the northern see, Holar, imported
the first printing press.
1541 The parliament confirms the reformation from
Catholicism to Lutheranism.
1550 The last obstacle of the reformation process
removed. Jon Arason, the last catholic bishop of the
northern see, and two of his sons executed in Skalholt, the
seat of the bishops of the southern see.
1602 The Danish trade monopoly was introduced in
1627 Algerian pirates raid the east coast, the
Westman Islands, where they abducted 242 persons, and tried
in vain to raid the southwest coast before returning home.
1662 The Icelanders swore the Danish monarch
1700 The Gregorian calendar was adopted.
1703 The first comprehensive sensus in Iceland. The
number of inhabitants was 50.358 and the number of homes was
1783 “Skaftareldar”, one of the earth’s largest
recorded eruptions. It lasted until 1784 and caused the
death of more than half the population of the country.
1800 “Althingi”, the Icelandic parliament was
abolished by a decree from the Danish crown.
1830 The last execution was carried out.
1865 The first caesarean section delivery. The
child lived, but the mother died.
1870+Between 1850 and 1912 approximately 16.200
Icelanders emigrated in search for better life to the
Americas, mainly to North America, especially Canada.
1874 The Icelanders celebrated the millenium of
inhabitancy. King Christian IX visited the country and
handed the country’s first constitution over in the
Parliamentary Plains, thus giving the parliament back its
1882 Women, unmarried or widows, 25 years old, were
granted the right to vote in community elections.
1886 The first bank, “Landsbankinn”, was founded.
1904 Home rule granted. The first cabinet minister,
Hannes Hafstein, was elected. The first electrical lights.
The first automobile was imported.
1906 The first cinema was opened in Reykjavik.
1908 Education for children between 10 and 14
1913 The first and only railway was built. It
served for transport of building materials for the new
harbour of Reykjavik. Construction work was finished in
1915 Prohibition started.
1918 The coldest year in the recorded history
(-37,9°C at Grimstadir a Fjollum).
1919 The first aeroplane lands and takes off in
1920 All restrictions of women’s right to vote and
their eligibility lifted.
1922 The country issued its own currency. The first
woman was elected in the parliamentary elections.
1930 The beginning of the broadcasting of The
National Broadcasting Service.
1931 Public transport established in the capital.
1935 The beginning of telecommunications between
Iceland and foreign countries. Prohibition mostly
abolished. Beer is not permitted.
1940 British forces occupied Iceland on May 10th.
1941 The British military leaves Iceland in the
hands of the American Navy.
1944 Iceland declared independence and the
parliament elected the country’s first president, Sveinn
1946 Iceland became a member of the UN. The first
motion picture in full colours was premiered.
1947 Mt Hekla erupted uninterrupted for 13 months.
1949 The first traffic lights in Reykjavik.
1955 The Nobel Prize for literature was granted the
author Halldor Laxness.
1963 The longest historical eruption started.
During this submarine eruption four islands were created.
The largest one, Surtsey, survived.
1968 The National Television Broadcasting began.
Driving on the left hand side of the streets and roads
abolished and right hand driving taken up.
1971 The Danish Coast Guard vessel, Væderen, brought
back the first of the old manuscripts from Denmark, where
they had been preserved from the 18th century.
1972 The World Chess Championships were held in
Reykjavik. The Russian Boris Spassky played against the
American Robert Fischer and lost.
1973 A volcanic eruption started on the only
inhabited island of the Westmanna Archipelago. The
population was evacuated for a few months.
1974 The official opening of the ring road. The
last obstacles conquered with four bridges on the outwash
1975 The fishing limits within the Icelandic
territory were extended to 200 nautical miles.
1976 Britain succumbed in the third, and hopefully
last cod war, and withdrew its naval vessels from Iceland’s
1980 The Icelanders were the first people to
democratically elect a woman, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, as
1986 The first privately operated radio station
started broadcasting. A summit meeting between the US
president Ronand Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev
in the “Hofdi House” (October 11th and 12th).
1989 After 74 years of beer prohibition, the
Icelanders gained lawful access to this beverage on March
1992 The Icelandic film “The Children of Nature” was
nominated for the Oscar as the best foreign film.
1994 Great festivities on the old Parliamentary
Plains in celebration of the 50 years of independence.
1995 Iceland hosted the World Cup handball games.
2001 Olympic boxing was legalized after 45 years of
2002 The Mt Karahnjukar hydroelectric power station
project was started to supply the Alcoa aluminium smelter on
Bay Reydarfjordur, East Iceland.
2004 The National Museum reopened after six years of
restorations and renovations.
2006 The population of the country exceeded 300.000.
2007 Smoking was banned in restaurants, bars and
2008 In October the heavy blow of the world crisis
lead to the collapse of the three largest banks and left the
country on the brink of bankruptcy. After the
privatetization of the government banks in the beginning of
the century they overextended themselves and, because of
lack proper supervision, overwhelmed the small economy of
2009 The socalled “Houshold Revolution” on the
square in front of the House of Parliament lead to the
resignation of the government in January.
The first gay and female primeminister was elected in
The Icelandic government, elected on the 29th of April,
applied for membership of the EU. At that time, public
opinion polls showed almost 70% against membership.
2010 Two volcanic eruptions. The first started on
March 20th (to April 12th) in the Mt pass “Fimmvorduhals”
(two fissure eruptions), and the second started on April
14th in the Mt massif “Eyjafjallajokull”. Its ash plume
lead to hysterical reactions by authorities and
unpresidented actions in aeronautical history.
2014. A fissure eruption has started at Holuhraun lava
North of Dyngjujökull glacier in Vatnajökull glacier. No
volcanic ash has been detected with the radar system.
- December 2014.
Eruption are still in Holuhraun lava. The lava contnues to
flow to the east north east and has grown in area. The lava
have reach JOKULSA a FJOLLUM
2015 28 Februar 2015.
The volcano in Holuraun has paused or the
eruption in Holuhraun is over.
2016 The central volcano Katla is hidden under
the southeastern part of the ice cap Myrdalsjokull. A
fissure eruption has not started.