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July 2008 aerial view of Akranes.
Coat of arms of Akraneskaupstaður
Location of the municipality
|Area||9 km2 (3.5 sq mi)|
|Density||744.33/km2 (1,927.8/sq mi)|
|Postal code(s)||300, 301, 302|
The area where Akranes is located was settled in the 9th century, but did not receive a municipal charter until 1942.
Akranes was settled in the 9th century by the brothers Þormóður and Ketill, sons of Bresi. They came from Ireland. The town started to form in the mid-17th century as a fishing village. In 1942, it was formally chartered, and in the following years it had the biggest surge in population in its history.
The fishing industry remains the town's most important source of employment, but commerce is also a significant employer as Akranes acts as a service center for a large rural region surrounding it.
The town is expected to grow further in the coming years because of growing industry and improvements of transportation to the Reykjavík area, following the construction of the 5.57 km-long (3.46 mi) Hvalfjörður Tunnel which was opened in 1998, one of the world's longest underwater road tunnels.
Akranes has a strong football tradition. The local team, ÍA, has for many years been among the best of the Icelandic football league. Former Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal midfielder Siggi Jonsson was born in Akranes and had three spells as a player with ÍA.
The town is home to sports club Íþróttabandalag Akraness, most notable for its football team.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Akranes.|
- Official website (in Icelandic)