It might surprise many people that visit Iceland and travel around the country, how many towns and villages have a kind of short history. Although the settlement in Iceland started around 870, most of the towns and villages began to develop around the middle of the 19th century, and some even at the beginning of the 20th century. One of the more interesting towns with a much longer history is Stykkishólmur.
A town with a natural harbor and rich fishing grounds
We can probably trace the Origin of Stykkishólmur to one important thing, a natural harbor. Because of these excellent conditions Stykkishólmur became an important trading post early in Iceland’s history. Contrary to many other towns and villages around the coast, it not fishing but trading that played a crucial role in the town's early history.
A history of trading
The first trading post in Stykkishólmur is traced back to the late 16th century, even before Denmark implemented the notorious Danish–Icelandic Trade Monopoly (1602 – 1787). From that time trading has been at the heart of Stykkishólmur history. Soon after Denmark abolished the trading monopoly, Ólafur Thorlacius from Bíldudalur, a small village in West Fjords, purchased a trading post in Stykkishólmur, and this proved to be a prosperous decision for the growing town. His son Árni Thorlacius, who took over all his operation from 1827, was even a greater entrepreneur than his father. Árni became active in trading, fishing, and fish processing and farming. In 1828, he built a large house for his home and companies, the Norwegian house. That marvelous house is still standing and was renovated a some years ago and accommodates the local museum.
Most of the houses and homes in Stykkishólmur today are single-family houses. Although the town has more old houses than most places in Iceland, most of the houses and homes are from the sixties and seventies. The houses are heated with geothermal heating from Reykjavík Energy, the Reykjavík heating, and power plant. The town is thus a part of the sustainable energy, the green revolution that started in Iceland in the fifties.
Stykkishólmir is a great town to visit with good service for people traveling in Iceland
The municipality offers similar service to residents as most towns and communities in Iceland. It has preschools, both elementary and middle schools, and a library. There is also a music school and sports clubs for the younger generation. The town participates in the high school in Grundarfjörður. There is also a sports center, a soccer field, and an excellent outdoor swimming pool. The harbor still has a central role and is also used for the ferry to Flatey.
If you are going to visit the West Region in Iceland you might be looking for a places to stay. Here you can book from a selection of accommodationin the Stykkishólmur region.