geographical name

City (pop., 2006 est.: 116,446; urban agglom., 191,431), capital of Iceland. According to tradition, it was founded in 874 by the Norseman Ingólfur Arnarson. Until the 20th century it was a small fishing village at the southeastern corner of Faxa Bay, ruled and largely inhabited by Danes. It became the capital of a self-governing Iceland under the Danish king in 1918 and of the independent Republic of Iceland in 1944. During World War II it was a U.S. naval and air base. In 1986 arms-control talks between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. were held there. It is the commercial, industrial, and cultural centre of the island, its major fishing port, and the site of nearly half of the nation's industries.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Reykjav{iacute}k, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Reykjavík? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.