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Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Ground Up: Thingvellir in Iceland

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.

p7180289 clear stream in Thingvellir National Park.

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

062 - Thingvellir - Oxarafoss 2

064 - Thingvellir - Dorsale, Lago e Bandiera

058 - Thingvellir - Fiume Oxara

041 - Thingvellir - Vista Panoramica sul Lago Thingvallavatn

049 - Thingvellir - Dorsale di Reykjanes 2

051 - Thingvellir - Dorsale di Reykjanes 4

057 - Thingvellir - Dorsale di Reykjanes 6

by © maxfaxpax

More Interesting Related Links:

Switzerland: A Geographical and Economical Revolution of Travel and Responsibility


Thingvellir on Geographia

Thingvellir on UNESCO Heritage Site


ManOverBoard.com said...

I just love Bláskógarbyggð one of my favorite places to go and just sit and watch the sun rise with a case of beer and a few brats ;-)

I do have to give it to you I have no idea where you find these places on Gods good earth, but they are always very interesting to read about.

By the way is that slider on the front page new, or am I hallucinating?

The Ancient Digger said...

Hi Glenn,

The slider is new. Just playing around a bit. Thought I could add to the template rather than changing it.

ManOverBoard.com said...

I like it and until I redid my blog never got into the sliders, mainly because you had to add them in your theme yourself. But once you get it in the rest is easy. The hardest part from here on out is making sure you have the right size picture for the slider box. That's takes some time and playing around. You are MUCH smarter then redoing the whole blog, I am almost finished. Nahhh who am I kidding we bloggers always have to redo and tweak, don't we?

The Ancient Digger said...

I am tweaking all the time and I'll never stop. I think adding to the template makes life a lot less stressful. Yeah right!

RS Wing said...

I would throw a handful of coins! Great pictures of another region steeped in social, political, and scientific history. These regions you present are so old, it's surprising that we even know they exist.

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