View of Neskaupstaður
Location of the Municipality of Fjarðabyggð
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Neskaupstaður is a town located on the fjord Norðfjörður on the eastern side of Iceland. It is part of the municipality of Fjarðabyggð and, as of 2014, it has a population of 1,540. Neskaupstaður is the third largest town in Austurland (Eastern Region). The town was originally built on a farm called "Nes", settled by Egill rauði (“the red”).
The town's location places it further north than Alaskan cities of Anchorage and Fairbanks. The town was also known as "Little Moscow" in the past for its strong socialist background.
Until 1949, the town was only accessible by boat. Now it is connected through a 626-meter long single-lane tunnel that passes through the Oddskard mountains. The tunnel is 632 meters above the sea level. The tunnel was built between 1974-1977.
The 1974 Avalanches
On 20 December 20 1974, avalanches came from the entire mountainside above the town, killing 12 people. Intense snowfall had been reported in the area over the previous few days. Along with the snow came a strong wind that apparently loosened the snow that had fallen on the mountains. According to some accounts, the first small-scale avalanche actually occurred on 19 December; however, due to low visibility, no-one noticed it. Since the time of the deadly avalanches, a number of protective barriers have been installed with the aim of avoiding future avalanches. Prior to the 1974 avalanche, in 1885 and 1894, two other avalanches had been recorded, with the former causing several deaths in two farms.
Síldarvinnslan h/f operates one of the most advanced fish processing plants in Europe, it mainly produces fish for human consumption. The company and its partners employ about 220 workers, and the 2010 revenue was USD 128 million.
The Museum House(Safnahúsið) located in the center of the town (Egilsbraut 2) houses an art gallery, a natural history museum and a maritime museum under one roof. The art gallery displays a number of paintings by Tryggvi Ólafsson - one of Iceland's most celebrated contemporary artists. The natural history museum hosts an interesting collection of Icelandic mammals, shellfish, birds, insect and stones. The maritime museum houses a number of finishing and boat related old equipment from Josafat Hinriksson family. A small replica of Josafat's workshop is also an interesting part of the museum. The Museum House is open between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm during June 1 and August 31.
Nordfjardarnipais and the surrounding area became Iceland's first official national park in 1972. Nordfjardarnipais separates Nordfjordur from Mjoifjordur.
The town hosts Iceland's only hard rock festival, Eistnaflug in July. According a local estimate, 2,000 people attended the festival in 2014. Most of the attendees put up tents at the end of the town.
Nearest airport is Egilsstaðir. The main carrier is Air Iceland with flights to Reykjavík.
Tryggvi Ólafsson one of Iceland’s best known contemporary artists was born here in 1940.He studied art at the National College of Arts and Crafts in Reykjavik before going to the National Academy Art Academy in Copenhagen.
In Popular Culture
The 2002 Icelandic movie Hafið (The Sea) was filmed almost entirely in and around Neskaupstaður.
- Political division
- Mainly statistical division
- (Icelandic) Infos on Fjarðabyggð municipal website
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neskaupstaður.|
- (Icelandic) Neskaupstaður page on Fjarðabyggð municipal website
- (Icelandic) Official website of the Fjarðabyggð community