Þingvellir

Thingvallavatn - Iceland's largest lake
Thingvallavatn - Iceland's largest lake

Þingvellir is a national park in Iceland, where the parliament, or AllÞingi, met, starting in 930. It is located on the so-called microplate, which is a miniature techtonic plate between the American and European tectonic plates. Iceland straddles these two plates, which is why there is so much geothermal activity there. When the vikings arrived in Iceland, it was mostly forested, but they deforested almost the entire island to use for firewood, houses, or to clear for farming. In 1930, they set aside Þingvellir as a national park to help reforest it. It is still pretty barren, but the trees are slowly coming back. Currently there is a small church there and the prime minister’s house.

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