Faskrudsfjordur (Fáskrúðsfjörður) Town and a French Connection

Faskrudsfjordur (Fáskrúðsfjörður) Town and a French Connection

Faskrudsfjordur town, by the fjord of the same name, is often referred to as Iceland’s ‘French’ town. It was the main hub for fishermen from Brittany and Normandy from the early 19th Century until 1914.

During the season as many as 5000 fishermen fished here, salting their catch on board before returning home. Because the fishermen were Catholic and in many cases married men, they were not permitted to come ashore, unless they were sick. 

There was however plenty of trade between the French and the locals and wine, brandy and biscuits were exchanged for woolen clothing and fresh meat. 

The French had their own consul, chapel, graveyard and a hospital built in 1903. Once the French stopped coming, the hospital was moved to the south shore of the fjord, where it stood empty for years as a dilapidated shell. Recently, the building was moved back to the town and restored as a hotel.

At the local museum learn about the French heritage and notice how many of the town´s street names are in Icelandic and French. In summer a festival is held to celebrate the historic friendship and twinning between the communities of Faskrúdsfjordur and Gravelines in France. 

Out in the mouth of the fjord the island Skrudur, a gannet colony, can be seen.