Reykjavík Street Named after “King” of Iceland Skip to content

Reykjavík Street Named after “King” of Iceland

A street between Austurstraeti and Skólabrú in downtown Reykjavík will henceforth be known as Jörundarstígur after Danish adventurer Joergen Joergensen who proclaimed Iceland independent from Denmark in 1809 and himself “Protector” of the country.

The suggestion for the street name was made by the Reykjavík City naming committee because of the 200th anniversary of Joergensen’s short-lived rule in Iceland. His offices were in a building on Austurstraeti 22, which is now being restored in its original state, Morgunbladid reports.

“The naming committee believes it is timely that Icelanders remember Joergen Joergensen differently than by mocking him. His name should rather be used to further the growth of cultural tourism,” the committee reasoned.

The street Jörundarstígur is currently closed but will open up once the restoration of Austurstraeti 22 and adjacent buildings has been completed.

Joergensen came to Iceland with a British merchant vessel at a time when all trade with Englishmen was prohibited.

Joergensen and his mates arrested Count Trampe, the representative of the Danish Throne in Iceland, on June 25, 1809, and kept him captive on board the British vessel.

Subsequently Joergensen announced that: “All Danish authority has been lifted in Iceland.” This event has been commemorated on different occasions in Iceland this year.

After around 100 days, Joergensen was arrested and shipped as a prisoner to England. He eventually ended up in Tasmania where he died in 1841 after a few years of freedom.

In Iceland, Joergensen is known as Jörundur hundadagakonungur, Joergen, the dog day king.

Click here to read a letter from a reader about the bicentenary of Joergensen’s rule in Iceland.

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