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Borgarnes, Iceland

Borgarnes is the centre of a region steeped in history. Skallagrímur Kveldúlfsson was the first to settle there and established a farm, Borg at Mýrum. Borgarnes gets its name from this great manor, but was initially called Dígranes.

The population of Borganes is 1800 and the main occupations are related to trade and services as well as some small enterprises. The town is built on interesting cragged landscape interspersed with areas of flatland. This gives the town a rather quaint higgledy-piggledy look unique to Borgarnes. The church in Borganes, built in 1953, towers over the town and was designed by the architect, Halldór H Jonsson.

Many areas in and around Borgarnes are named after people in the famous Egils saga, e.g, the cairn of Skallagrímur in Skallagrímsgarði (park), Brákarsund and Brákarey. Brákarsund was named after a female slave, Brák who was stoned and killed by Skallagrímur as she fled, swimming, over the strait. A memorial has been erected in her honour at the strait. Many of the streets in Borgarnes are also named after persons from Egils saga, namely, Skallagrímsgata, Kveldúlfsgata, Böðvarsgata and Egilsgata.

Borgarnes is the centre of transport, services and business for West Iceland. It has a health-care centre, numerous shops, restaurants and service enterprises. There is a handcraft gallery called Gallerí Hönd which offers local handicrafts. Borgarnes brags a good 9-hole golf course and good facilities for horse-riding. The first hotel was built in 1905 and tourism is now a thriving business.