Immigration from other parts of the world has been minimal since the time of the first settlement. Although the state provides financial support to the church, it extends considerable freedom. These holes were 790 and 1300 feet deep. Lying on the constantly active geologic border between North America and Europe, Iceland is a land of vivid contrasts of climate, geography, and culture. 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). In 1904 Iceland was granted home rule. Painting in particular has thrived since the end of the nineteenth century. Iceland is an island, a European country, located midway between North America and mainland Europe. 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. Then in 1918 Iceland was made a sovereign state sharing a monarchy with Denmark. Illiteracy is unknown in the small island country. English, Danish, and German are also widely spoken and understood. Geologically, Iceland is a very young country and the process of its formation is still in progress. 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 … Northern Lights Activity. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Alkaline hot springs are found in some 250 areas throughout the country. Iceland was under Danish rule until the late 19th century, when they created their own constitution. The post of governor was abolished. Nearly every district has its own museum reflecting the local cultural history, while magnificent galleries and museums grace the capitol. Iceland background information Iceland background information. 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). In 1000 A.D., Christianity was peacefully adopted at the Althing, which met for two weeks each summer and attracted a significant portion of the population. The centre of the country is uninhabited. Iceland, the UK’s leading frozen food specialist, is committing to become the first major retailer globally to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own brand products by the end of 2023. Iceland has a rich literary tradition and unusually high standards of education, with 15 percent of the national budget devoted to education. Iceland is a volcanic island in the North Atlantic Ocean east of Greenland and immediately south of the Arctic Circle. This article relates to Arctic Chill. The north is divided into several smaller districts, each of which has relatively good farmland. Geologically young, Iceland contains about 200 volcanoes of various types. Since then, Iceland has flourished into a thriving community but its population has remained one of the smallest in Europe. In 1915 Icelandic women were allowed to vote. 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. Iceland does not maintain armed forces. Iceland, island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean. The glaciers range in size from those in small mountain recesses to the enormous glacial caps topping extensive mountain ranges. 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. 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. The result of this drilling was very promising and proved among other things, that this was a ‘high temper… With artists frequently deriving inspiration from the extraordinary terrain and the ancestral culture, the arts are flourishing in Iceland. 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. Glacier ice and cooled lava each cover approximately one-tenth of the country’s total area. U.S.-ICELAND RELATIONS The United States was the first country to recognize Iceland’s independence in 1944 following Danish rule. Instead Iceland gained an Icelandic minister responsible to the Althing. and its Licensors 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. from New York and 830 kilometers (520 mi.) Iceland's present day parliament, Althing, is the oldest existing national assembly in the world. A common custom on farms was for families to sit with handiwork (weaving, tool making, carving, spinning, or knitting) while participating in shared reading, storytelling, and verse making. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to th… Independent for over 300 years, Iceland was subsequently ruled by … In the southwest several fine natural harbours have directed interest toward the sea, and good fishing grounds lie off the shores of this region. Greenland was colonizedby p… 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. 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. At the end of the fourteenth century, Iceland was brought under Danish rule and conflicts between church and state culminated in the Reformation of 1550 with Lutheranism declared the country's official religion. 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. Over 25 airlines maintain scheduled flights to Iceland. 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. Households require two or more incomes, with most women working outside the home and many men holding two jobs. Iceland is largely a tableland broken up by structural faults. Hekla brought physical destruction, widespread epidemics, and death. 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 first settler was Ingólfur Arnarson, who settled in Reykjavík. Iceland was founded more than 1,000 years ago during the Viking age of exploration and settled by a mixed Norse and Celtic population. 2. View data tables. Looking for facts about Iceland? Soil and climatic conditions are favourable, and it is close to the country’s largest market, Reykjavík and its environs. Its average elevation is 1,640 feet (500 metres) above sea level, but one-fourth of the country lies below 650 feet (198 metres). The highest point is 6,952 feet (2,119 metres), at Hvannadals Peak, the top of Öræfajökull in Vatnajökull. 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. Today, Icelanders stand at the precipice of a new, exciting and divisive chapter in their young country’s history. 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 largely a classless society composed of the descendents of farmers and warriors who fled the tyranny of Scandinavia many centuries ago. In the 20th century ties with Denmark were loosened. In 1969 the town council of Grindavik decided to explore the area near Svartsengi for the possibility of geothermal heat, which could be harnessed for domestic heating in Grindavik. In this post, we have gathered interesting Iceland facts to give you some insights about this amazing country. The depressed zones between the basalt areas have extensive plateaus above which rise single volcanoes, table mountains, or other mountain masses with steep sides. Icelandic nightlife is famous for its vibrancy, with night clubs, cafes, and cinemas in all major towns. The basalt sheets tend to tilt somewhat toward the centre of the country. The glaciers are a reminder of Iceland’s proximity to the Arctic Circle, which nearly touches its northernmost peninsula. This is its story. Denmark's hold on Iceland was significantly reduced in 1874 when a constitution was drafted granting Iceland permission to handle domestic affairs. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. Real power rests with the 63-member parliament, the Althingi (Althing). 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. 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 erupted again beginning on April 14 and sent wandering ash plumes into the skies that disrupted air traffic for days across northern and central Europe. A Short History of Iceland. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Traditionally, Iceland has been divided according to the four points of the compass. This quiz is based on Britannica’s list of the world’s populations, so review that before you start. This quiz will show you two countries. Iceland is a volcanic island located in the North Atlantic Ocean, 300 km east of Greenland and 900 km west of Norway. Use this timeline to learn more about the history of Iceland. All Regions. The strength of the people, mirrored by the powerful landscape, is evident in the thriving independent culture. Iceland has more hot springs and solfataras—volcanic vents that emit hot gases and vapours—than any other country. Omissions? This country updated its background information for the 2016/2017 dataset. Other major population centres are Akureyri, on the north-central coast; Hafnarfjördhur, on the southwestern coast; and Selfoss, in the southern lowlands. 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. Aurora borealis over the Snaefellsnes peninsula, western Iceland, March 2013. There were eruptions in the Vatnajökull area in 1983 and 1996. After the occupation of Denmark and Iceland's declaration of sovereignty, the island's vulnerability was responded to by British and U.S. troops. Iceland, an island about the size of Kentucky, lies in the north Atlantic Ocean east of Greenland and just touches the Arctic Circle. Iceland, island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Identify the one with the larger population. Download for free on all your devices - Computer, Smartphone, or Tablet. Icelanders as a group are very committed to their work regardless of the specific form. It is a relatively young nation since it was first inhabited by Vikings from Norway in the late 800s. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active with hot springs, geysers, and icefields. There are numerous theater companies in Iceland, and Reykjavik is home to a symphony orchestra, an opera house, and a ballet company. Silfra in Þingvellir National Park. from Scotland. Iceland joined the United Nations in 1946 and it is a charter member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 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. Background Iceland is one of the world’s oldest democracies. 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. The principal employers are fishing, industry, agriculture, and health services. However, Denmark did not officially recognize Iceland as its own nation until 1918. The capital is Reykjavik. Icelandic, the national language, has changed very little from the original tongue of the Norse settlers. 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 capital and largest city is Reykjavík. In 1971 and 1972 two holes were sunk some three miles north of the town Grindavik, near Svartsengi. The Republic of Iceland, the setting for Hannah Kent's debut novel Burial Rites, has a deep and intriguing history.. 258 Iceland HD Wallpapers and Background Images. The National Theater of Iceland celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in the year 2000. Approximately 82 percent of Icelanders between the ages of 17 and 75 have access to the Internet at home, school, or work. Destination Iceland, an island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean, between Europe and North America. The closest bodies of land in Europe are the Faroe Islands (530 km). Roughly 90-94 percent of Icelanders are Protestants (73 percent Evangelical Lutheran) and 1 percent are Catholic. Literature has always played a prominent role in Icelandic culture. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Iceland is a country of extreme geological contrasts. The process starts now and Iceland is challenging itself to complete it within the … The oldest rocks were formed about 16 million years ago. Which Country Is Larger By Population? Welfare services include unemployment insurance, old age and disability pensions, family and childbearing allowances, and sickness benefits. It is one of the most volcanic regions in the world. If that's not enough, click over to our collection of world maps and flags. 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. Hiking in Iceland Activity. Unemployment is nearly non-existent in contemporary Iceland. Category. Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Iceland, Iceland - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Iceland - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceIceland - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education, Copyright © 2021 Web Solutions LLC. Casual conversations over a meal frequently involve discussions about work. The middle west is divided between fishing and farming and has many places of great natural beauty. Earthquakes are frequent in Iceland but rarely result in serious damage. 3. 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. 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. The population rose (despite emigration to Canada) and in 1911 Reykjavik University was founded. The western fjords have numerous well-sheltered harbours and good fishing grounds but little lowland suitable for agriculture. 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. Volcanic activity has been particularly frequent since the 1970s. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. In 1918 Iceland became an independent state under the Danish king. Time-lapse video of the southern coast of Iceland. More than 13% is covered by snowfields and glaciers, and most of the people live in the 7% … The total power output of the Torfajökull (Torfa Glacier) area, the largest of the 19 high-temperature solfatara regions, is estimated to equal about 1,000 megawatts. 1. Iceland began to prosper once again. The largest, Deildartunguhver, emits nearly 50 gallons (190 litres) of boiling water per second. 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. Iceland has a long history of farm wor… Iceland's interior consists mostly of uninhabited mountains and high plateaus. The first bishopric, or center for learning, was established at Skal-holt in south Iceland in 1056, and a second was developed at Holar in the north in 1106. 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. 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. 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 southern lowland comprises the main farming region. Information about Iceland and COVID-19. - Wallpaper Abyss There are, however, traces of Celtic influence in the literature and in the names of people and places. It lies just below the Arctic Circle between 64 and 66 degrees north. The powers of the president are similar to those of other heads of state in western European democracies. 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. Quiz. With an excellent health care system available to all citizens at no cost, the life expectancy in Iceland is among the highest in the world (76.5 years for males and 81.5 years for females) and infant mortality is among the lowest in the world (5.5 per 1,000 live births). Region. On June 17, 1944, the Republic of Iceland was formally declared at Thing-vellir. 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. An elected church congress serves as an advisory board to the church. The history of Iceland is one of survival and prosperity. 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. Iceland is one of the best places to experience the Northern Lights. The country is in very good economic standing with a very low unemployment rate. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Iceland is considered one of the most beautiful countries in the entire world. National budget devoted to education are believed to have left shortly after the occupation of Denmark Iceland... Icelandic terms are introduced in each discipline and foreign influence on the for! 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