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  • Einar Páll Svavarsson

Breiðholt district in Reykjavík capital of Iceland

Updated: Dec 6, 2022


Breiðholt district in Reykjavík capital of Iceland
Breiðholt district in Reykjavík capital of Iceland

The district Breiðholt got its name from a farm once on Reykjavik's outskirts. While the district was in development, it was divided into three neighborhoods; Lower Breiðholt, Upper Breiðholt, and Seljahverfi. The district Breiðholt was originally a building development project developed under an agreement between the government and the labor movement to eliminate inadequate and hazardous housing. Until then, many of Reykjavik's poorer residents lived in old WW2 barracks and other temporary buildings from the war. Buildings in all the new neighborhoods popped up at a new and unrecognized speed in the seventies and the eighties, and Breiðholt soon grew to become the largest district in the Reykjavik municipal.


Breiðholdt is a disstrict in Reykjavík city the capital of Iceland
Breiðholdt is a disstrict in Reykjavík city the capital of Iceland

Breiðholt as a project was an effort to eliminate poor housing in other districts


Breiðholt has many apartment buildings and condominiums
Breiðholt has many apartment buildings and condominiums

Because the development was partly a social project, there were more social problems associated with the name Breiðholt at that time than Icelanders had known before. Partly because the city of Reykjavík built and owned many apartments in Breiðholt. Today this has changed, and Breiðholt is a nice neighborhood with good quality service. The district quickly became the most populated in Reykjavík, with more than twenty thousand residents. At its peak, more than twenty-five thousand people lived in Breiðholt. There are several schools, both primary and secondary schools, in the district. Schooling has always been a priority in Iceland since Icelanders have always valued education.


A nice place to stay, although not in walking distance of the City Center in Reykjavík

The church in Breiðholt
The church in Breiðholt

Breiðholt has a delightful swimming pool, a large indoor Gym used for both handball and basketball, and an outdoor soccer field. Between Árbær and Breiðholt is the extraordinary salmon river Elliðaá and the beautiful valley Elliðarárdalur. Along the river is a pathway, highly popular among all residents of Reykjavík, and a public park. The district has good transportation and good access to a system of public transportation. The district also has a large commercial area Mjóddin with many stores and services.


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