10 Amazing Historical Facts about Iceland

Iceland is the perfect destination for tourists who have a hunger for history. The country is rich in history, and there are several key facts that every tourist should know about the country. There are also many places to visit that have historical value. Iceland makes an amazing destination, so plan to take your next vacation there. Find a car once you are there, drive safely, and go see the sights.

  1. Iceland Celebrates National Beer Day Once Per Year

Every year on the first day of March, the country celebrates Beer Day. This is to mark the day when a ban on beer was lifted. Alcoholic drinks were illegal until 1935 when alcoholic beverages were voted legal through a referendum. Beer with an alcohol content above 2.25% was, however, not allowed. This ban lasted 74 whole years up to 1989. You are sure to have a lot of beer if you are in the country during this day.

  1. Iceland Has No Public Railroad System

Due to the rugged terrain of the country, a public railroad system has never been established. In recent years, however, there have been proposals for building a light railroad network within the capital Reykjavík. This makes road transport the main form of transport. 

There are buses which can be used for traveling to various parts of the country. However, to better enjoy the scenery as a tourist, hiring a car from one of the major companies such as Lotus Car Rental is advisable. This way you get to stop where you want, when you want, and enjoy the scenery. 

  1. The Country Was Almost Abandoned Between 1783 And 1784

The Laki eruption was so catastrophic that the remaining survivors almost got evacuated to Denmark. There were over thirty billion tons of lava accompanied by hundreds of millions of sulfuric acid and ash erupted. There were freak storms and flash floods also occurring which, in turn, destroyed crops and livestock. This led to a famine where about 9000 people died. Every now and then the country experiences eruptions but on a much smaller scale. These can be very magnificent to watch from a distance.

  1. The World’s Oldest Parliament Is In Iceland

The national assembly, or the Althingi as they are locally known, have been governing the island since the year 930. This assembly was initially made up of chieftains and all law-abiding citizens. The meeting usually happened on the plains of Thingvellir. The Althingi is now made up of 63 members.

  1. Iceland’s National Television Channel Wasn’t Broadcasted On Thursdays Until 1987

Between 1966 and 1987, the only broadcasting TV channel was owned by the government. It did not broadcast anything on Thursdays and the month of July when people would be vacationing. This is because they wanted to encourage more human interaction.

  1. The Capital City Is The Northernmost City In The World

Reykjavík is the northernmost city in the world yet the winters there are not excessively cold. On average, the city shares practically the same temperatures with New York during winter. If you are from New York, then you should have no trouble adapting here during winter. There is probably more to experience in Reykjavik though.

  1. The British Invaded Iceland In 1940

Although Iceland was a neutral country, the British invaded it during World War II to counter Germany’s invasion of neighboring Denmark. The United States would then take over the territory in 1941. Iceland did, however, cooperate with the Allies.

  1. The Word Geyser Originates From Iceland

Many people have never realized it, but the English word geyser was actually coined from the word Geysir. It is the name of a rather popular tourist attraction found in Iceland. This is a big geyser located in Haukadalur, in southern Iceland. It was also the first to be documented.

  1. A Unique Flood Of Books Happens Every Year In Iceland

No! Books do not rain from heaven. However, during the Christmas period, there are numerous books published thus flooding the market. This is because a book is considered to be the perfect gift for Christmas.

  1. The Arctic Fox Is Native To Iceland

While Iceland is known to have a lot of bird life and marine mammals, there is one animal that many do not realize is a native here. The arctic fox is the only native mammal in the country. The fox arrived in Iceland after the ice age.

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