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Basic data
State : IcelandIceland Iceland
Region: Vesturland
Constituency : Norðvesturkjördæmi
Sýsla : Snæfells- og Hnappadalssýsla
Population: 866 (January 1, 2019)
Surface: 148 km²
Population density: 5.85 inhabitants / km²
Post Code: 350
Community number 3709
Mayor: Björg Ágústsdóttir
Address of the municipal administration: Grundargötu 30
350 Grundarfirði
Location of Grundarfjörður

Coordinates: 64 ° 56 ′  N , 23 ° 16 ′  W

The municipality Grundarfjörður ( Isl. Grundarfjarðarbær ) is located in western Iceland in the Vesturland region on the Grundarfjörður fjord from which it is named . The former name of the parish was Eyrarsveit .

On January 1, 2019, the community had 866 inhabitants, 823 of whom lived in the city of the same name, the capital of the community.


Grundarfjörður with the Helgrindurmassiv

The municipality of Grundarfjörður and its main town are located on the north coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula . Grundarfjörður lies in front of a coastal mountain range that is partly alpine in character. This is the mountain range Helgrindur with its highest peak Kaldnasi , which is also the central volcano of the Lýsuskarð volcanic system . At the Grundarfjörður fjord in front of the city, on a peninsula, is the mountain Kirkjufell , a pointed peak that the Ice Age glaciers have carved on both sides. To the west of the city lies Cape Búlandshöfði , to the east lies Kolgrafafjörður .


Church in Grundarfjörður
Grundarfjörður with Kirkjufell
Stöðin peninsula west of Grundarfjörður

In Conquest book , the book about the colonization of Iceland in the 9th and 10th centuries, is of Herjólfur Sigurðsson reported of the country between the Cape Búlandshöfði and the fjord Kirkjufjörður would have made their own. It is not known exactly where the Kirkjufjörður fjord was, but it is believed that it was what is now Grundarfjörður fjord.

In the Eyrbyggja saga , one of the Icelandic sagas , which takes place mainly in northern Snæfellsnes, the Viking settler Vestar is also mentioned, who would have settled on a peninsula in the east of the Grundarfjörður fjord. His descendants lived on the Öndverðareyri headland and were called Eyrbyggjar . Hence the title of the saga.

The place Grundarfjörður emerged from a small settlement that had initially formed during the Danish monopoly economy (1601–1786) around a trading post of the Danes.

After the Danish trade monopoly was lifted, Grundarfjörður was granted trade law in 1786 . As a result, the place flourished a little, whose name was Grafarnes at first. The port was relatively cheap and protected, but at the time not suitable for ocean-going ships. But there were almost no other transport connections. Only a few mule tracks led over the mountains that enclose the place on all sides. This isolation probably also meant that the Danish administrative officer did not settle in Grundarfjörður as originally planned.

Around 1800 French traders and fishing enthusiasts had settled in Grundarfjörður for a while, and they even built their own church and hospital as well as their own cemetery. They had about 20 fishing boats and processed cod into clipfish . At the end of the 1860s, however, they demolished the settlement and took everything back home with them, including their dead.

At the end of the 19th century the place was moved from Grundarkampur to Grafarnes. From 1906 a fishing village was established in Grafarnes. A town formed there from 1940.

In 1953 a fishing boat, the Edda GK, ran aground in the fjord. 8 out of 17 men were rescued with the help of local residents. A monument by Árni Jónsson at the port commemorates the event.

Since 1963 the parish seat has been in Grundarfjörður and for this reason a church was built.

The port was expanded even further in 1978, making it very suitable for fishing today.

In 2006 a higher school was opened.


The first trading branches took the name of the fjord. But after the move to Grafarnes , the name of this peninsula was also used (isl. Nes = German peninsula , headland ; cf. Snæfells - nes = peninsula of the snow mountain).

Several buildings stood on another headland called Framnes. This name was also used for the place until around 1940. Then the place was called Grafarnes or Grundarfjörður , until a referendum in 1965 brought the decision in favor of Grundarfjörður.

Culture and sights

The area around Grundarfjörður is known for its abundance of birds. At the sea breed z. B. many ice gulls and you can spot numerous oystercatchers on the beach in summer . Ringed plovers stand in the boggy lowlands. And it is not uncommon for some of the few sea ​​eagles still living in Iceland to hover overhead in search of prey.

Economy and Infrastructure

Even today the inhabitants live mainly from fishing and processing, but also from trade and tourism.

Grundarfjörður draws significant income from fishing , which can also be seen in the houses, some of which are quite unusual. The main focus here is on catching and processing scallops and prawns . The place has a protected harbor, in front of which u. a. Cruise ships stop.

The place has a number of service facilities, including a secondary school.

The area has good transport links. The Snæfellsnesvegur S54 crosses the Kolgrafafjörður and the smaller Hraunsfjörður on bridges and continues to Stykkishólmur .

Population development

date Residents
Dec. 1, 1981: 792
Dec. 1, 1997: 920
Dec. 1, 2003: 936
Dec. 1, 2004: 938
Dec. 1, 2005: 974
Dec. 1, 2006: 954
Dec. 1, 2007: 918
Dec. 1, 2008: 921

Grundarfjörður is one of the few places outside of the capital region in Iceland whose population has increased in recent years, at least until 2005. On the one hand, this has to do with the lucrative fishing activity here and, on the other hand, with the expansion of the infrastructure in recent years. After that, a slight decrease can be observed, with an insignificant increase in the number of inhabitants until 2008.

Town twinning

Since 2002 there has been a town twinning with Paimpol in Brittany in memory of the area's French past .

Picture gallery

Web links

Commons : Grundarfjörður  - collection of images, videos and audio files

See also

Individual evidence

  1. cf. z. B. Community news on the community website (Icelandic); Accessed August 13, 2011