Definitions for icelandˈaɪs lənd
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word iceland
Iceland, Republic of Iceland(noun)
an island republic on the island of Iceland; became independent of Denmark in 1944
a volcanic island in the North Atlantic near the Arctic Circle
A country in Europe. Official name: Republic of Iceland.
An island in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Iceland is a Nordic island country situated at the confluence of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The country has a population of about 320,000 and a total area of 103,000 km², which makes it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city is Reykjavík, with the surrounding areas in the southwestern region of the country being home to two-thirds of the country's population. The nation's capital is the most northern capital in the world. Iceland is volcanically and geologically active. The interior consists mainly of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains and glaciers, while many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. According to Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in AD 874 when the chieftain Ingólfr Arnarson became the first permanent Norse settler on the island. Others had visited the island earlier and stayed over winter. Over the following centuries, Norsemen settled Iceland, bringing with them thralls of Gaelic origin. From 1262 to 1918, Iceland was part of the Norwegian and later the Danish monarchies. The country became independent in 1918 and a republic was declared in 1944. Until the 20th century, the Icelandic population relied largely on fishing and agriculture, and the country was one of the poorest and least developed in the world. Industrialisation of the fisheries and aid from the Marshall Plan brought prosperity in the years after World War II, and by the 1990s, Iceland became one of the wealthiest and most developed nations in the world. In 1994, Iceland became party to the European Economic Area, which made it possible for the economy to diversify into economic and financial services.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a volcanic island larger by a third than Scotland, lying just S. of the polar circle, between Greenland and Norway, distant 250 m. from the former and 500 from the latter; consists of a plateau 2000 ft. high, sometimes sloping to the sea, sometimes ending in sheer precipices, from which rise numerous snow-clad volcanoes, some, like Hecla, still active. "A wild land of barrenness and lava," Carlyle characterises it, "swallowed up many months of the year in black tempests, yet with a wild gleaming beauty in summer time, towering up there stern and grim, with its snow jokuls and roaring geysers, and horrid volcanic chasms, like the waste chaotic battlefield of frost and fire." The interior comprises lava and sand tracts, and ice-fields, but outside these are river valleys and lake districts affording pasturage, and arable land capable of producing root crops. The climate is changeable, mild for the latitude, but somewhat colder than Scotland. There are few trees, and these small; cranberries grow among the heather, and Iceland moss is a plentiful article of food. The island exports sheep and ponies; the fisheries are important, including cod, seals, and whales; sulphur and coal are found; the hot springs are famous, especially the Great Geyser, near Hecla. Discovered by Irishmen and colonised by Norwegians in the 9th century, Iceland passed over to the Danes in 1388, who granted it home rule in 1893. The religion has been Protestant since 1550; its elementary education is excellent. Reykjavik (3) is the capital; two towns have 500 inhabitants each; the rest of the population is scattered in isolated farms; stock-raising and fishing are the principal industries, and the manufacture of homespun for their own use.
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