Ingolfr Arnarson Founding Reykjavik


Emma Groeneveld
by Haukurth
published on 10 January 2019
Ingolfr Arnarson Founding Reykjavik Download Full Size Image

Photograph of a painting depicting Ingólfr Arnarson (c. 874 CE), who is considered the first historical settler of Iceland. His story is preserved in the Landnámabók and tells how, when his ship was just off the coast of Iceland, Ingólfr threw his high-seat pillars (pillars of wood dedicated to the god Thor) into the sea knowing that wherever they washed up on shore would be the place the god favored for the settlement. He then went ashore, built a temporary shelter, and sent his slaves out to search for the place where his pillars had washed up, and once they had located them he founded his permanent community at that spot – modern-day Reykjavik – in 874 CE.

The painting is by P. Raadsig and at the time this photograph of it was taken, the painting was on public display in Viðeyjarstofa in Viðey, Iceland.

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Haukurth. (2019, January 10). Ingolfr Arnarson Founding Reykjavik. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

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Haukurth. "Ingolfr Arnarson Founding Reykjavik." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified January 10, 2019.

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Haukurth. "Ingolfr Arnarson Founding Reykjavik." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 10 Jan 2019. Web. 23 Jun 2024.