"Síldarbærinn" (Herring Town), Sigló'
|• Total||155 km2 (60 sq mi)|
|• Density||9.28/km2 (24.0/sq mi)|
|• Summer (DST)||[[UTC]]|
|• Summer (DST)||[[UTC]]|
The population in 2011 was 1,206; the town has been shrinking in size since the 1950s when the town reached its peak of 3,000 inhabitants.
The municipalities of Ólafsfjörður and Siglufjörður, connected since 2010 by the Héðinsfjörður Tunnels, merged in 2006 to form a municipality called Fjallabyggð, which literally means Mountain Settlement.
The town grew up around the herring industry that was very strong in the 1940s and 1950s. The first Icelandic Municipal Savings Bank was founded in Siglufjörður in 1873, and on 22 October 1918 Siglufjörður attained municipal status (Icelandic: kaupstaðurréttindi) with the rights and privileges of a town. The number of inhabitants amounted to 146 in 1901 and to 415 in 1910, to 1,159 in 1920, to 2,022 in 1930, to 2,884 in 1940, to 3,015 in 1950, to 2,860 in 1960, to 2,161 in 1970 and to 2,047 in 1979. In 1989 Siglufjörður had 1,806 inhabitants. Herring fishing declined considerably after 1970, and the herring processing plants were closed. Many people left the area. Today the town remains dependent on fishing industries. The government of Iceland is attempting to reverse the population shrinking in the area by improving land transportation and by promoting tourism. Today herring fishing is no longer productive in the region.
Sights and cultural events
Siglufjörður is famous for its Herring Festival (Síldarævintýrið, [ˈsiltarˌaiːvɪnˌtʰiːrɪθ]) which is held every year in August, and for its Herring Museum (Síldarminjasafn) which can be visited in Róaldsbakki [ˈrouːˌal(t)sˌpahcɪ], a historic building dating from 1907.
Þjóðlagahátíðin á Siglufirði [ˈθjouðˌlaːɣaˌhauːˌtʰiːðɪn au ˈsɪklʏˌfɪrðɪ] is a music festival which is held every year in July. The town is famous for Bjarni þorsteinsson (1861-1938), a composer and priest who lived in Siglufjörður from 1888 on. He collected many old folk songs which had nearly been forgotten and published them again between 1906 and 1909. The oldest house in town dating from 1884 was transformed into a Bjarni þorsteinsson Museum referring to traditional Icelandic folk music and to historical musical instruments.
Siglufjarðarkirkja [ˈsɪklʏˌfjarðarˌcʰɪr̥ca], a Protestant church consecrated in 1932, has 400 seats. With a length of 35 metres and a breadth of 12 metres, it is comparatively large. The two large clocks on its tower, which is 30 metres in height, were donated by the Savings Bank in 1932. Inside the church there is a sightworthy altar painting dating from 1726 which shows the Last Supper. The colourful church windows were created by the German artist Maria Katzgrau (1913-1998) and added in 1974. Ragnar Kjartansson, an Icelandic artist, created the tall sculpture Síldveiði [ˈsiltˌveiːðɪ] (Herring Fishing) which can be seen in front of the church. Lífsbjórg [ˈlifsˌpjourk], another sightworthy memorial which was unveiled close to the harbour in 1988, refers to 62 seamen from Siglufjörður who lost their lives on sea between 1900 and 1988.
The dual Héðinsfjörður Tunnels, with a total length of 11 km (6.8 mi), were dug between Siglufjörður and Ólafsfjörður to connect with the region of Eyjafjörður in the east, and opened on 2 October 2010. Siglufjörður was already connected by the 800 m tunnel Strákagöng to the west; it used to be the town's only road connection open year-round. That tunnel was completed in 1967 and before then the only road to the town was a narrow mountain pass between Siglufjörður and Héðinsfjörður, open only during the summer. The new tunnel opened interesting mountain tracks and trout fishing opportunities to those without boats and unwilling to walk the old trail.
The old road to Siglufjörður is open during the summer. It is the highest mountain road in Iceland and is used today for hiking, horse riding and pleasure driving. Siglufjörður has developed into the Icelandic centre of winter sports. There are two ski lifts and a ski jump hill. In January 2021, the ski area of Siglufjörður was destroyed by a snowslide.
In popular culture
Siglufjörður was connected by road for the first time in 1940, when the horse-riding trail through Siglufjarðarskarð [ˈsɪklʏˌfjarðarˌskarθ] was improved, enabling cars to get through. Before that ships, seaplanes, horses and strong legs provided transport.
Siglufjörður has a small airfield. There have, however, not been regular flights to Siglufjörður for many years, but private small planes make frequent landings. The closest airport with scheduled flights is in Akureyri, an hour's drive from Siglufjörður.
- "Around Iceland 2015: Fjallabyggð", Iceland Monitor, Morgunblaðið, 9 September 2015.
- Vilhelm G. Kristinsson: Íslensk Samtíð, p. 280. Reykjavík 1990.
- Ewald Gläßer: Island, p. 179. Darmstadt 1986.
- Vilhelm G. Kristinsson: Íslensk Samtíð, p. 281. Reykjavík 1990.
- Barbara Titz, Jörg-Thomas Titz: Island, p. 368. Bielefeld 2005.
- Barbara Titz, Jörg-Thomas Titz: Island, p. 371. Bielefeld 2005.
- Barbara Titz, Jörg-Thomas Titz: Island, p. 370. Bielefeld 2005.
- Arnljótsdóttir, Þórdís. "Allt í rúst á skíðasvæðinu á Siglufirði". RÚV. Retrieved 20 January 2021.
- Ófærð (Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller), Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, Ingvar Sigurdsson, Elva María Birgisdóttir, RVK Studios, 2015-12-27, retrieved 2020-10-03CS1 maint: others (link)
- "Here's what you need to know about the Icelandic crime-drama "Trapped"". Icelandmag. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
- "The setting - Siglufjordur". Ragnar Jonasson. Retrieved 2020-10-03.
- "Daylight calculator (number of daylight hours, with sunrise and sunset, and daylight saving time) in Siglufjörður, Islandia". jan.moesen.nu. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Siglufjörður.|
- The Town's official website (www.fjallabyggd.is)
- http://www.sild.is/en Herring Era Museum, English homepage
- The unofficial website for the inhabitants of Siglufjörður, includes web cam. (vefmyndavél)
- The Folk Music Center of Siglufjordur
- Folk music festival of Siglufjordur
- More information and photos about Siglufjörður on Hit Iceland