Borgarnes Travel Guide

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View over the "fjáll" seen from Borgarnes

View over the "fjáll" seen from Borgarnes

Lina Persson

Borgarnes is first mentioned in Egil´s Saga, but there it is called Digranes. That is where the coffin of Kveldúlfur, the father of Skallagrímur, drifted ashor. Skallagrímur set up his household at Borg, near the place where the coffin came ashor. Among Skallagríms shipmates was a man named Grani. He got land on Digranes and called his farm Granastaðir and is said to be the first settler in Borgarnes. No mention is of a settlement in Borgarnes from the days of Grani until the 19th century, when a few houses were built there in connection with trading.

The history of Borgarnes is tied up with the countryside. During the Danish trading monopoly people in Borgarfjörður had to trade either with Reykjavík or Snæfellsnes. When the monopoly was abolished a need for more trading centers arose and Borgarnes was authorised as such by a king´s decree the 22nd of March 1867.

The first known building in Borgarnes after Granis time was a small house erected for the canning of salmon in 1857. This house was pulled down a few years later. In the year 1877 a merchant named Akra-Jón had a trading house built near Búðaklettur and the year after also a dwelling-house near by, which is still standing almost unaltered. Since then Borgarnes has been the center of trade and administration in the district of Borgarfjörður.

In Borgarnes many place-names from Egil´s Saga are to be found, such as Brákar strait and Brákar island, and street-names such as Skallagrímsroad, Kvedúlfsroad, Böðvarsroad and Egilsroad. Borgarnes has about 1800 inhabitants and in the whole district of Borgarfjörður there are about 3400 inhabitants. Borgarnes is the center of communication, trade and administration, with a health center, shops, a hotel, restaurants and other services.

Borgarnes has a good elementary school, kindergartens, vigorous social life and good public service.

There is plenty of building lots available, both for apartments and business.

Borgarfjarðarhérað boasts two universities; the University of commerce at Bifröst and the University of agriculture at Hvanneyri.

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