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Akureyri is a town in northern Iceland. It is Iceland's fifth-largest municipality, after Reykjavík, Hafnarfjörður, Reykjanesbær and Kópavogur, and the largest town outside Iceland's more populated southwest corner. Nicknamed the "Capital of North Iceland", Akureyri is an important port and fishing centre. The area where Akureyri is located was settled in the 9th century, but did not receive a municipal charter until 1786. Allied units were based in the town during World War II. Further growth occurred after the war as the Icelandic population increasingly moved to urban areas. The area has a relatively mild climate because of geographical factors, and the town's ice-free harbour has played a significant role in its history.