The country of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, located in the southwest of the country, is a bastion of the modern on the prehistoric island. Though much of Iceland’s history comes from the Norsemen, by historical standards, they settled in Iceland quite late, sometime around 870 AD. From then Reykjavík became the cultural, economic and governmental capital. The city’s name, Reykjavík (literally “Bay of Smoke” or “Smoky Bay”), is a reference to what the first settlers witnessed as they arrived: the steam that emanated from the hot springs around the country. The history of the city and even the country was not recorded in writing, although we know that it was mainly farmland and part of the Danish empire of the 1750s.


What was once a desolated rock has been populated with people who have brought their own cultures with them. The modern-day Reykjavik has become home to many artists who display their work in the windows of their shops, or sometimes more illicitly in the form of graffiti.