A Summer’s Day In Reykjavik, 1874

In 1874, a national festival was held in Iceland to celebrate one thousand years of settlement. On this occasion, King Christian IX presented Icelanders with their first constitution. This was also the first time in history a king had come to Iceland.

This drawing of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, appeared in the Illustrated London News on June 26, 1874. It shows the center of Reykjavík, known to locals as Kvosin, around the time of the king’s visit.

In the above picture, you can see the Reykjavík Lutheran Cathedral, originally built over a ten year period from 1786 to 1796. The cathedral is now next to the Parliament House at Austurvöllur, which was built a few years later in 1881. On the hill is the Reykjavík Latin School, now known as Reykjavík Junior College. The schoolhouse was the official meeting place of the parliament from 1844 to 1881.

The Illustrated London News was the first illustrated weekly newspaper in the world, published from 1842 to 2003.

around the time of the king’s visit,

Örlygur Hnefill

Örlygur Hnefill Örlygsson is the manager of Húsavík Hotels and co-founder of bookiceland.co.uk. He has worked as a journalist at Fréttablaðið newspaper in Reykjavík and at the Parliament of Iceland, as an assistant to MP for North East Constituency.

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