A visit to Þingvellir

It has been 95 years since the first national park in Iceland, Þingvellir National Park, was established in 1928. Þingvellir was also the first Icelandic site, or cultural heritage, to be included in the United Nations Organization for Cultural Heritage’s List, 19 years ago. Þingvellir has a unique history, as it is a place dear to all Icelanders. In Þingvellir, Alþingi met for the first time in 930, making it the oldest national parliament in the world. Congress that took place at Þingvellir every year until 1798, when it moved to Reykjavík.

It was cold at Þingvellir at the beginning of March, and the light was nothing special. But Icelandic Times / Land & Saga were not bothered by the weather, like some others were. But there were a few people out and about, mostly foreign tourists, in rental cars looking around in this unique national park, which is less than an hour away from Reykjavík. As one of the national park rangers told a reporter, there was not much difference in the flow of tourists, depending on the weather. People had booked their accommodations and nailed down their schedule way before anyone could predict the weather at the time of their bookings. After a two or three hour stop, many continue on and take the golden circle, see Gullfoss and Geysir, and Skálholt if they are interested in culture and history.

Looking down from Mosfellsheiði to the north-east towards Þingvellir. Road 36 in the front wich is the road that connects Þingvellir to Reykjavík.

Þingvallakirkja and Þingvallabær. The church was built in 1858, but the first church in Þingvellir was built in 1017. Þingvallabær was built the year Þingvellir became a national park.

The north end of Almannagjá

Flosagjá, hales by Ármannsfell in the background

Þingvallavatn is the largest natural lake in Iceland

Well equipped travellers photographing the scenes at Þingvallavatn in -9° and a stiff norhern wind

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson
07/03/2023 : A7C : FE 2.5/40mm G