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View of Borgarnes
View of Borgarnes
Location of the Municipality of Borgarbyggð
Location of the Municipality of Borgarbyggð
Borgarnes is located in Iceland
Location in Iceland
Coordinates: 64°32′N 21°55′W / 64.533°N 21.917°W / 64.533; -21.917
Country Iceland
Constituency[1] Northwest Constituency
Region[2] Western Region
Municipality Borgarbyggð
Population (2015)
 • Total 1,875
Time zone GMT (UTC+0)

Borgarnes (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈpɔrkarˌnɛs]) is a town located on a peninsula at the shore of Borgarfjörður in Iceland.

It has a population of 1,763 (as of January 2011). 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[edit]

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.

The city of Borgarnes as seem from the south, driving up on Route 1.

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 major 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.

Town of Borgarnes in wintertime with Mt. Hafnarfjall in the background, Iceland.

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.


Southeast from Borgarnes toward Skarðsheiði over Borgarfjörður, November 2007.
Borgarnes - Von der Kirche über die Stadt.jpg
The church in the township of Borgarnes, Iceland.

Kaupfélag Borgfirðinga (KB)[edit]

Kaupfélag Borgfirðinga 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.

Major industries in Borgarnes[edit]

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[edit]


Borgarnes - Kirche.jpg




Climate data for Borgarnes
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 2
Average low °C (°F) −4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 97
Source: Weatherbase [3]


Borgarfjarðarbrú and Borgarnes

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[edit]

  • 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.

Tourist attractions[edit]

Visitor attractions in Borgarnes[4] include:

  • The Settlement Centre – a museum featuring twin themes: the settlement of Iceland; and an Egils saga exhibition. It was opened by actor and playwright Kjartan Ragnarsson and his wife in 2006.[5]
  • Museum Borgarfjörður – A unique exhibition centered on the life and surroundings of children in Iceland in the 20th century. The photographs are presented in an unusual way, mounted on walls in which cabinets behind some photographs contain objects and further information. Viitors can move around the walls and discover how children lived, laughed and worked over the past 100 years. .[6]
  • Bjössaróló Park – a children's play park created by carpenter and environmental pioneer Björn Hjörtur Guðmundsson, who built all the play equipment himself from salvaged discarded materials, teaching children the value of recycling, frugality and inventiveness.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Political division
  2. ^ Mainly statistical division
  3. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Borgarnes, Iceland". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  4. ^ Fran Parnell; Brandon Presser (1 May 2010). Iceland. Lonely Planet. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-74104-455-3. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Rebecca Louder (17 August 2010). "A Borganestastic Day – Learning and playing around Borgarfjörður". The Reykjavik Grapevine Travel. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

Coordinates: 64°32′N 21°55′W / 64.533°N 21.917°W / 64.533; -21.917