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Iceland, officially the Republic of Iceland, is an island country in Northern Europe, located in the North Atlantic Ocean between mainland Europe and Greenland. It has a population of about 320,000 and a total area of 103,000 km². Its capital and largest city is Reykjavík.The island had been used as a religious retreat by irish monks for several centuries,when around 860 it was seen by a norseman(viking) and subsequently word got around.The scandinavians of this time period were very interested any lands that they could colonize and several more explorers of norse origin sought out this island.The traditional date of the first permanent scandinavian settlement is 872 and coincides with a period of political upheaval caused by Harald Fairhair's wars to obtain the crown of Norway.