Akranes (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈaːkraˌnɛːs] ) is a port town and municipality on the west coast of Iceland, around 50 km (31 mi) north of the capital Reykjavík.

July 2008 aerial view of Akranes.
July 2008 aerial view of Akranes.
Coat of arms of Akraneskaupstaður
Location of the municipality
Location of the municipality
Akraneskaupstaður is located in Iceland
Coordinates: 64°18′57″N 22°05′41″W / 64.3158059°N 22.09466°W / 64.3158059; -22.09466
RegionWestern Region
ConstituencyNorthwest Constituency
 • MayorSævar Freyr Þráinsson
 • Total9 km2 (3 sq mi)
 • Total8,000
 • Density823.44/km2 (2,132.7/sq mi)
Postal code(s)
300, 301, 302
Municipal number3000
Langisandur in Akranes

The area where Akranes is located was settled in the 9th century; however, it did not receive a municipal charter until 1942.

History edit

Akranes was settled in the 9th century by the brothers Þormóður and Ketill, sons of Bresi, who came from Ireland. The town started to form in the mid-17th century as a fishing village. In 1942, it was formally chartered, and in the following years it had the biggest surge in population in its history.

Industry has been a big and growing employer: a cement plant has been operated in the town since the 1950s, and an aluminium smelting plant has been in operation near the town since 1998.

Economy edit

The fishing industry remains the town's most important source of employment. Akranes also acts as a service center for the large rural region surrounding it.

The town is expected to grow in the coming years because of an increase in industrial activity and improvements in transportation to the Reykjavík area. The 5.57 km-long (3.46 mi) Hvalfjörður Tunnel, opened in 1998, is one of the world's longest underwater road tunnels.

Notable people edit

Akranes was the birthplace of the Atom poet Jón Óskar, the writer Eva Björg Ægisdóttir and footballers Ríkharður Jónsson and Arnór Sigurðsson.

Sport edit

Akranes has a strong soccer tradition. The local team, Íþróttabandalag Akraness (ÍA), which currently plays in the Úrvalsdeild karla, has for many years been among the best of the Icelandic football league system. Ríkharður Jónsson, who was born in the town, is often considered to be one of Iceland's finest footballers. He both played for and managed ÍA. Former Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal midfielder Siggi Jónsson was also born in Akranes and had three seasons as a player with ÍA. The town is also home to second division club Knattspyrnufélagið Kári.

Twin towns – sister cities edit

Akranes is twinned with:[2]

See also edit

Gallery edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Population by municipalities, sex and age 1 January 1998-2019 - Current municipalities". PX-Web. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Vinabæir Akraness". akranes.is (in Icelandic). Akranes. Retrieved 2020-02-12.

External links edit