Over the centuries, Hafnarfjörður has been home to merchants and traders from numerous European countries, but it is also relatively little known that in the 16th century, it was a Hanseatic town.
The Hanseatic League was a confederation of European merchants and the towns they ran helped support a strong trade route throughout Northern Europe.
After German traders drove the English out of Hafnarfjörður in the 16th century, Hanseatic merchants, who mainly came from that region, pervailed in the community. They also built the first Lutheran church in Iceland, which was a Catholic country at the time. Construction took from 1537 to 1608.
Hanseatic dominance came to an end in 1602, when a Danish monopoly came into effect.