The name of the city, Reykjavik, is supposed to have been inspired by the steam from hot springs (Reykjavik can be loosely translated as 'Smokey Bay').
Nowadays these hot geothermal springs provide almost the whole heating and water supply system of the city.
This system has a queer by-product effect, a faint hydrogen sulphide odour, especially evident when showering. In dry weather the city has crystal clear sky and clean air.
Very low pollution level is also due to rather small size of the city. Till the middle of the 18th century Reykjavik mostly consisted of just a few farmhouses, slowly growing into a small trading community. After it had been granted with a municipal charter, it gradually developed into an urban center. After World War II Iceland got independent from Denmark, and Reykjavik became the capital of Iceland.
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