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Isafjordur

Region: Westfjords
Coordinates: 66.0611° N 23.1889 ° W
Weather: -0.9°C, Wind ESE at 3 km/h, 99% Humidity
Population: 2,559

Isafjordur is the capital of the Westfjords. The town is known for its flourishing art and cultural life and many prominent musicians and composers come from here or reside here. Frequent art exhibitions are held throughout the year, attracting many visitors.

Fishing and the fish industry are among the country’s best and the town’s successful fishing fleet is well known. Commerce and trading have a long history in Isafjordur and are still thriving. Skiing is the local winter sport and the skiing facilities rate among the best in the country. Every year during the Easter Holidays, a “Ski Week” attracts visitors from all over and hotels and other accommodations in town are fully booked well in advance.

A prominent folk museum, which includes the country’s oldest house, Tjoruhusid built in 1734, should not be missed. The museum is in a part of town called Nedstikaupstadur and there, as well, is the country’s oldest group of restored houses. The tourist trade is also thriving and a vast number of interesting places are to be explored both on sea and land. The distance from Reykjavik is 457 km by the Whale Bay tunnel.

Nedstikaupstadur

Has a long history as a trading centre for the area around the Bay Isafjardardjup. Merchants arrived with wares in the summer, pitched their tents, and only did their business during the “buying season”. Icelandic and Norwegian commerce diminished and declined and was replaced by the English and German tradesmen. The oldest sources mention a trading post on the Isafiord Bay, to be exact on the spit of land called Skutulsfjardareyri, run by the Hansa League traders in 1569. In 1602, King Christian VI of Denmark, decreed a monopoly for Danish tradesmen in Iceland. The Danish probably took over the Hansa League posts and raised new dwellings and warehouses when the old became obsolete. The trading post houses in Nedstikaupstadur were all built in the latter part of this period of monopolization.

Krambud (The Shop) was built in 1757. It was used as such until the early part of the 20th century, when it was converted into a private residence.

Faktorshus (The manager’s house) was built in 1765 as the shop curator’s living quarters.

Tjoruhus (The Tar-house) was built in 1782 of logs and was used as a warehouse for the Shop.

Turnhus (The Tower-house) was built in 1785, also fo logs, and used as a warehouse and for fish processing.