Heimaey, an Island with a troubled story

Posted on June 20, 2009 by

The biggest island, Heimaey, is the only one inhabited by a small community. It is 13,4sqkm. In the past it was used by the Algerian Pirates as a docking. They arrived here in 1627, they attacked the inhabitants, killed many of them and made 250 slaves.

As this is a volcanic island, as all the other islands of the archipelago, it has experienced many eruptions. The last one occurred in 1963, and it covered the whole island of lava. The inhabitants had to evacuate and were brought to Iceland during a terrible night.

The eruption ended in June and only then the people could go back to their island. The houses were partly buried and are still visible along the borders of the flow, and in some areas you can still feel the heat beneath the ground!

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