Sunday, June 1, 2008

100th Anniversary

Starting Thursday Hafnarfjörður has been celebrating its 100th anniversary. There were various activities throughout the weekend with culmination on Sunday with President of Iceland speaking at Harnarborg, Hafnarfjörður Institute of Culture and Fine Art, and a huge 100 meter birthday cake being served to everybody on Strandgata, the main street of the town. Also, every resident of Hafnarfjörður received a DVD about history of their hometown. I watched it and learnt some interesting facts. Due to my limited knowledge of language my interpretation of them can be off, but here what I learnt so far without any particular order:

  • In the early fifteenth century, Hafnarfjörður, was known as “English town”

  • The oldest building in town considered to be the Sívertsen’s house, which was built by “Sir” Bjarni Sívertsen in 1805, long before Hafnarfjörður was granted township status. At that time it looked like that and it didn’t change much.

  • Sir” Bjarni Sívertsen is considered being a founder of the town. His sculpture overlooks the town at the top of the Hellisgerdi Garden. I found this portrait of him more personal.

  • Till early forties the majority of people in Hafnarfjörður were engaged in fishing industry, they either went out to sea to fish or worked at the fish factories. Also, all of them, young and old, sooner or later participated in moving dried fish around.

  • One of the first official art exhibitons in Hafnarfjörður was the exhibition of Sveinn Björnsson. (1925-1997.)

  • One of the oldest schools in town is on Lǽkjargata.

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