The assembly- and sacred place of Icelanders

Alþingi is the first institution that we owned jointly as a nation. Founded in Þingvellir in 930, the meeting place was called Lögberg, just south of Öxarárfoss, in Almannagjá. Alþingi met there in June, and the session lasted two weeks. After 1271, the session of parliament was greatly shortened. Alþingi met there until 1800, when the Danish king ordered that Alþingi should be abolished. Alþingi was then restored, but without any real power, and then in Reykjavík in 1843, has been opperating there continuously since then, for 180 years. Since 1918 a legislative assembly of the people with full power to make our laws and regulations.

A thousand years after the founding of Alþingi, in 1930, the country’s first national park, The national park at Þingvellir, was established, not only for historical reasons, but also for the beautiful and unique nature at Þingvellir, it is not only unique in Iceland but globally. It only takes an hour to drive over to Þingvellir from the capital, which is just as beautiful to see, experience and explore, now in the middle of the cold winter. Þingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Beautiful winter brightness by Þingvallavatn

The northern lights doing their dance over Öxarfoss in Almannagjá

The frozen Þingvallavatn at Grafningur

Beautiful winter light in the national park, Ármannsfell in the background

Travellers in Almannagjá

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson
02/01/2022 : A7R III, RX1R II : FE 1.2/50mm GM, FE 1.8/135mm GM, 2.0/35mm Z