Borgarnes

Borgarnes

Borgarnes is a small town located on a peninsula at the shore of Borgarfjörður in Iceland. It has a population of 2,000 (As of 2007). The town is located 60 km north of the capital Reykjavík and is connected to other places in Iceland through the second largest bridge in Iceland, Borgarfjarðarbrú. Borgarnes is the biggest town in the Borgarbyggð municipality.

History of Borgarnes

Borgarnes is first noted in Egils Saga but in the saga it is called Digranes. The first Settler to live there was called Grani, a shipmate of Skallagrímur, the first landlord and settler of the Borgarfjörður-area. There is no known history of settlement in Borgarnes after Grani's days until the 19th century.

Just after Iceland gained freedom from the Danish trading monopoly, there was a great demand for a trading place in the area and the Danish King authorized Borgarnes as a trading place in 1861.

The first building built in Borgarnes was a canning factory. It was built in 1857 but was torn down a few years later. A trading house was built in Borgarnes in 1877, and a few years later settlement in Borgarnes began in earnest.

In 1913, Borgarnes officially became a town called Borgarneshreppur but had its name changed to Borgarnesbær in 1987. Later on, in 1994, Borgarnesbær united with Hraunhreppur, Norðurárdalshreppur, and Stafholtstungnahreppur under the name Borgarbyggð, using the Borgarnes seal and offices. In 1998, Álftaneshreppur, Borgarhreppur and Þverárhlíðarhreppur also became a part of Borgarbyggð.

Economy

Kaupfélag Borgfirðinga (KB)

KB was founded in 1904 as a mutual company. It was the biggest supplier of work in Borgarnes in the 20th century. Like among most local mutual companies (and members of SÍS, the Federation of Iceland Cooperatives Societies) in Iceland, Kaupfélag Borgfirðinga had shops, supermarkets, petrol stations, a slaughterhouse, a milk processing factory, a bakery, etc. under its name. KB also had shares in many other factories and companies in the Borgarnes area and elsewhere in Iceland. At the end of the 20th century, KB's financial powers and status began to decline and it was changed to a holding company called KB Borgarnesi EHF. The KB logo and trademark will no longer be used for what is left of KB's operations in the beginning of 2005.

See also: Kaupfélag Borgfirðinga.

Major industries in Borgarnes

Borgarnes is the center of commerce for a large part of western Iceland. The town's economy is mostly based on service to people traveling from Reykjavík, farmers and owners of summer houses in the countryside around the town, and also various industries.

Shops and trading

Banking

Manufacturing

Transportation

The second-largest bridge in Iceland, Borgarfjarðarbrú connects Borgarnes to Route 1 (the Ring Road) and connects it with other parts of the country. The Borgarnes Harbour has not been used for transportation for years so all transportation to and from Borgarnes is by land.

Sports Clubs and Youth Associations

  • Skallagrímur. The biggest sports club in Borgarnes. Badminton, athletics, basketball, football (soccer), swimming and other activities like acting.
  • Kveldúlfur. The sports club of the handicapped in Borgarnes.
  • Golfklúbbur Borgarness. The Borgarnes Golf Club.
  • Mýgrútur FC. Football club.

See also: Borgarbyggð, List of cities in Iceland, History of Iceland

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