ReykjavÝk is the capital of Iceland, its largest city and, with a latitude at 64░08' N, the world's most northern national capital. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflˇi Bay. With a population of more than 115,000, it is the heart of Iceland's economic and governmental activity.
ReykjavÝk is believed to be the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland, which Ingˇlfur Arnarson is said to have established around the year 870. Until the 18th century, there was no urban development in the city location. The city was founded in 1786 as an official trading town and grew steadily over the next decades, as it transformed into a regional and later national center of commerce, population and governmental activities.
Today, ReykjavÝk is the center of the Greater ReykjavÝk Area which, with a population of more than 190,000, is by far the largest metropolitan area of Iceland. As a highly modernized capital of one of the most developed countries in the world, its inhabitants enjoy first-class welfare system and city infrastructure. Its location, only shortly south of the Arctic Circle, receives only four hours of daylight per day in the depth of winter, and during the summer the nights are almost as bright as the days. It has continued to see population growth in past years as well as growth in areas of commerce and industry.