Þingvellir national park
Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park creates a special tingle of excitement in the heart of every Icelander. Alþingi, the historic Icelandic Parliament, was established here in 930 CE. In this lively and colorful place, everyday business was dealt with, important matters were discussed and ruled upon, sometimes changing the destiny of the whole nation. This was, for example, the case when Icelanders left their Pagan religion and went Christian. At this point, the head of Alþingi was Þorgeir Ljósvetningar Goði. He had this huge desition to make and did so by laying under sheep fur for three whole days. There he laid and thought about everything that would change. In the end, he made the decision, Icelanders were to become Christian.
Lögberg e. Law Rock
1930 when we celebrated 1000 years of Parliment in Iceland – the picture was taken by a Valgerður Tryggvadóttir then a 14 year old girl
The Alþing brought people together from every corner of the land, in the lives of the Icelandic people it was also the greatest social occasion of the year. Trading deals were struck, disputes were settled, feuds were sometimes carried on and people met and fell in love. Important occasions were celebrated and the threads which make up the fabric of life were woven together. This was the place where life happened!
The fabulous and totally unique rift valley location would have added tremendous drama to these occasions. Imagine the excitement of the Icelandic people as they watched the Law Speaker, the supreme governor of their land, speak from Lögberg, the Law Rock, with the imposing cliff of the rift valley at his back. This has to be one of the most incredible platforms from which a great political leader has ever spoken.
The North American and Eurasian plates have been slowly moving apart which has formed the fabulous rift valley. Þingvellir National Park has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004 due to its unique history and geological features.
The site is known to many in recent years as one of the three stops along the Golden Circle route along with Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir.
The church at Þingvellir in wintertime