Höfn í Hornafirði
Close to 1700 inhabitants
Höfn means harbor, and the town's harbor is situated in the large lagoon called Hornafjörður (and Skarðsfjörður). Hornafjörður is also the name of the municipality (sveitarfélag). Fishing and fish processing is the main activity. The boat shown has retired and seems to have joined the tourist industry which is also important here. This is a very nice town, having a wonderful view of the surrounding sea and a part of Vatnajökull when the weather permits (unfortunately it didn't this time). However, foreigners tend to have a problem pronouncing the town's name.
Fjörður means fjord, and if you get confused when the word is inflected, note that the word in the
nominative—accusative—dative—genitive case singular is
And if we add the proper definite article suffix, this is how it looks:
Fjörður is a strong and irregular masculine noun, and those aren't numerous, so don't let this keep you from attempting to learn Icelandic.
Hornafjarðarmáninn – the Hornafjörður Moon, a sculpture close to Hótel Höfn. It was made by Ragnar Imsland, a self-taught artisan in Höfn. The story of Hornafjarðarmáninn goes back to a time – before radio and television made us choosy – when a silly remark could be retold until everybody knew it, and then later referred to for amusement among friends:
In the nineteenth century Djúpivogur, roughly one hundred kilometers east of Höfn, housed a Danish trade company, and people living in Hornafjörður traveled there, usually in spring and autumn, to buy merchandise. Here booze was also available. One night, when the men came stumbling out from the shop, the full moon had just risen above the hill. Then one of the men uttered (something like):
"There you see a proper moon, that's some change from the fucking Hornafjörður moon"
A second version of the story attributes the words to the Höfn man Árni Eiríksson (1793–1865), who was claimed to be "a wag, but not a simpleton". According to a third version, the Hornafjörður men were immensely fascinated by everything in Djúpivogur, including its full moon, but Djúpivogur isn't and wasn't the "Big City", so this is evidently the story told by people east of Hornafjörður, who enjoyed portraying the men there as very stupid. Anyway, the silly comment was overheard, and it has been repeated ever since.
This is the coat of arms (skjaldarmerki) of the Hornafjörður municipality (sveitarfélag), another version of Hornafjarðarmáninn, created by the local artist Bjarni Henriksson (1927–1989). Relating it to the story above requires a special kind of logic, not described in books (I believe), and this is meant as praise.
The Höfn church, Hafnarkirkja, designed by Ragnar Emils and consecrated in 1966.
A view of the coast some sixty kilometers east of Höfn (a few kilometers outside the Hornafjörður municipality, sorry).
Höfn has deserved more pictures, but the time was too short and the weather wasn't cooperative.