Thingvellir translates as "Fields of the Parliament" and is in southwestern Iceland, and is often described as being in Iceland's 'Golden Circle', along with the Geysir area and the Gullfoss waterfall. It is a site of some historical and geological importance and is one of Iceland's most visited tourist destinations.
Iceland's Parliament or Althingi was established at Thingvellir in 930 and remained there until 1789; and as such was the first recognisable parliament to be established anywhere in the world. Thingvellir is the site of a rift valley where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet causing the significant volcanic activity in the area; and is also on the shore of Thingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland.
Thingvellir National Park was founded in 1930 to protect the remains of the parliament site and was later expanded to protect natural phenomena in the surrounding area. This was the first national park in Iceland and was decreed "a protected national shrine for all Icelanders, the perpetual property of the Icelandic nation under the preservation of parliament, never to be sold or mortgaged."
Unfortunately on the day of my visit, our tour guide in his wisdom declared that we were not to go walking down into the valley amongst the veritable history, but nonetheless the view from above was quite spectacular.
Critiques | Translate
ls7902 (7328) 2008-11-10 19:26
An amazing view from above. Winter and snow must have come much earlier there. Cold winter scenery with scarce but interesting historical architectures. Informative notes. Regards. Latiff.
edge (6227) 2008-11-10 19:42
Great winter scene. Makes one have a chill seeing all that snow. I believe I would have cropped the foreground and the left side of the picture to accentuate the river and buildings. Good shot anyway.
amiclaire (0) 2008-12-01 7:36
Magical! Very much the winter wonderland. I wish I had made it there!