Garðabær is a municipality in the Capital Region of Iceland, located between the districts of Kópavogur and Hafnarfjörður.
Establishment & History
Formerly known as Garðahreppur, the town of Garðabær was established in 1878 alongside Bessastaðahreppur, when the former district of Álftaneshreppur got split in two. The harbour town of Hafnafjörður used to belong to Garðahreppur, until receiving its own trading credentials in 1908. The same licence was granted to Garðahreppur in 1976, which is when the name was changed to its current form of Garðabær. As recently as 2012, the municipality of Álftenes was again joined into the mix when it got reunited, so to speak, with Garðabær. As a result, the growing town is the sixth largest in Iceland with the collective number of residents estimated at around 14,000.
Garðabær stands elevated and provides for excellent sceneries from various viewing points. To the north-west, one can spot the Snæfellsjökull glacier volcano of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. There is also a wide view over the neighbouring city of Reykjavík, as well as the town of Kópavogur. Looking south, there is also a view of the mountains of the Reykjanes Peninsula.
Garðabær is the home of Stjarnan sports team, which includes the Icelandic Premier League and Icelandic Women's Premier League football teams, the latter of which has won four of the last six championship titles. The town is also home to Oddur Golf Club, with golf being an especially popular sport amongst the town's residents, usually considered being more noticeably upper-class than in other capital districts.
The centre of the town would be Garðatorg Square, which began with the construction of a new shopping centre in 2007 called Litlatún. Now the square is the town's cultural hub, boasting of several shops, restaurants and service centres.