Reykjavík is the capital of and largest city in Iceland and with an urban area population of around 233,000 (2019), it is the home to two-thirds of Iceland's population. It is the centre of culture and life of the Icelandic people, and is one of the focal points of tourism in Iceland. The city is spread out, and has sprawling suburbs. The city centre, however, is a very small area characterised by eclectic and colourful houses, with good shopping, dining and drinking. Reykjavik has the distinction of being the northernmost capital city in the world, though its winters are surprisingly mild for a city of its latitude.
When it started to develop as a town in the 18th century, Reykjavík had already been inhabited for almost a thousand years. Legend has it that the first permanent settler in Iceland was a Norwegian named Ingólfur Arnarson. He is said to have thrown his seat pillars into the sea en route to Iceland, and decided to settle wherever the pillars were found. The pillars washed up in Reykjavík, and so that was where he set up his farm.
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