Reykjavik Whale Watching
The so-called Old Harbour of Reykjavik is the first lasting harbour of
the town. It was
constructed between 1913 and 1917 on the cove Reykjavik, after which the
farm of the first settler and later the town were named.
Danish monopoly trading was moved from the spit of land called Orfirisey
in 1780 to Reykjavik. During
the 19th century the merchants constructed their own short
and small piers as extensions from the warehouses into the cove.
The municipal authorities did not participate until after 1850,
when harbour pilots were engaged to ensure the safety of the seafaring
people. A signal mark was
built by the Akurey-reef in 1856 and the first tariff of the harbour was
issued. A Danish engineer
was hired to evaluate the harbour conditions and make suggestions for
the harbour construction. The
budget of the town was too low to accommodate the expenses of the
project at the time and
only minor improvements were carried out.
After 1860 the municipality contracted the common use of the
piers built and owned by the merchants and paid lease.
In 1884 the municipality constructed the so-called Stone Pier.
after the turn of the century, the entrepreneur and poet Einar
Benediktsson established the joint-stock company Hofn with wealthy
financiers in England for the purpose of building a harbour in
Reykjavik. This project was
commenced and the competition between those, who wanted the harbour,
where it is now, and this limited company started.
It most probably hastened the construction of the Old Harbour.
1911 the town council agreed to construct the harbour, based on the
plans of the harbour master of Kristiania (now Oslo) from 1909.
The Danish engineer N.C. Monbergs’ offer for the construction
was accepted and the work started in 1913.
Two locomotives were used to transport the building materials
from the hills Skolavorduholt and Oskjuhlid to the construction site.
The progress was rather quick and the first ship was docked in
1915.increased during the next decades and
landfills increased the space by the harbour.
Continuous improvements and landfills have taken place on the
spit Orfirisey, where various firms have built their headquarters.
In 1960 the town council agreed on a long breakwater between
Orfirisey and the island Engey, but this project was not realised.
Instead ideas about freight harbours in the Island Videy Area
were accepted and the cement (gravel and asphalt) and Vatnagardar
harbours were finished in 1968 and the Holtabakki harbour in 1980-81. A
marina was finished in 2003.
Information: Tel.: 525-8900