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Trip Planner Europe  /  Iceland  /  East Region  /  Reydarfjordur

Reydarfjordur

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Military Museums
Reyðarfjörður is a town in Iceland. It has a population of 1,102 and is one of the most populated villages that constitute the municipality of Fjarðabyggð.HistoryThe town is at the bottom of the eponymous fjord, the largest on the east coast of Iceland. Like most other towns in the East Fjords, it is surrounded by mountains, of which the highest is about. Although the climate is particularly rainy and foggy, on clear summer days it often has the highest temperatures in Iceland.From the early 20th century, Reyðarfjörður was a trading port, as well as a fishing port. Due to its strategic location and good harbour conditions, it became the second-largest of the Allied bases in Iceland during World War II. There is a World War II museum located at the old camp above the town.Reyðarfjörður joined Eskifjörður and Neskaupstaður in 1998 to form the new municipality of Fjarðabyggð ("fjords-settlement").GeographyThe other villages composing the municipality are: Eskifjörður (1,043 inh.), Fáskrúðsfjörður (662 inh.), Mjóifjörður (35 inh.), Neskaupstaður (1,437 inh.) and Stöðvarfjörður (203 inh.).Fjardaál aluminium smelterA quiet fishing town since the war, Reyðarfjörður saw a revival in the early 2000s when Alcoa decided to build the Alcoa Fjardaal smelter there. It was built between 2004 and 2007 by the contractor Bechtel, requiring thousands of workers from various countries, most notably from Poland. At one point, the town had the highest concentration of foreign residents of any community in the country, and the number of workers reached as high as 2,800. By 2008, the construction workers had left, but townspeople have faith in the aluminium plant for the continuing prosperity of their old community, and surrounding communities.
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