Greinasafni: Icelandic Times
The Man Called ‘President’
The 200th anniversary of Jón Sigurðsson
You might expect a boy, growing up in one of the most remote parts of Iceland’s West Fjords, to become priest, like his father, a farmer or a fisherman. Such was not to be the case with Jón Sigurðsson. From this farm, he travelled to study and spend his life in Copenhagen, where he became the most ardent and strongest voice for the freedom of the Icelandic nation and its independence from Danish rule.
On the 17th June, the country celebrated the 200th birthday of this freedom fighter, who fought so eloquently with words and wisdom, in contrast to the violence in other countries. In 1851, he was elected president of the Copenhagen branch of the Icelandic Literary Society, after which, he became known as President Jón, first among his friends and then more generally.
Even though he died in 1879, his efforts brought Icelandic independence on the same day in 1944, the date chosen to honour the man who had done so much for the nation.

From Home to Vibrant Museum
Today, his birthplace in Hrafnseyri has become a museum with a new, state-of-the-art exhibition of his life and work. It also uses the building’s own windows, integrating the views into the exhibit, at the same time, taking the visitor back to a Europe in the grip of revolutionary foment. A film in English, Danish & Icelandic is screened in the chapel.
Open 10 am to 8 pm daily until end of August. Entrance is free. Ranking at the top of such exhibits, it is well worth making the trip to experience it.


Hrafnseyri • 471 Þingeyri
+354 456 8260

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