Thingvellir is a national park situated in Bláskógarbyggð in southwestern Iceland, near the peninsula of Reykjanes and the Hengill volcanic area. Not only does this glorious location offer natural landscapes to the many visitors every year, but the site embodies Iceland's political, social, and religious history.
by © susankapl
Thingvellir is the oldest Parliamentary site in the world and is registered on the UNESCO world heritage site. It is this location, on the shores of the largest lake in Iceland, that the first general assembly, or Althing, met in 930 to act as a forum for the Icelandic people.
The assembly, situated comfortably in the open air, would meet two weeks a year and dispute on matters concerning the establishment of laws and debate issues.
The assembly met at the law rock, or Lofborg, and it was here that the main law speaker would proclaim the laws of the commonwealth. The law rock also acted as a site to express particular news, to inaugurate and dissolve the council, and to confirm laws. In 1262, when Iceland swore allegiance to Norway, the rock disappeared. Archaeologists have still continued to search, and they hope with further research that they will eventually find it. Until then, it remains a mystery.
Aside from the fact that Thingvellir was a site of great political importance, it's also a location that has created mass geological interest. It's part of a fissure zone that runs through Iceland and rests on the tectonic plates of the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Fractures in the formation are the size of canyons, and some, have the most breathtakingly clear water.
Legend says that if you drop a coin to the bottom of one of the cliffs-Penny Canyon, your dream will come true.
Photography of ThingVellir
by © maxfaxpax
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