Thingvellir National Park Facts

Thingvellir National Park Facts
Thingvellir National Park is a 9,270 hectare park located in southwest Iceland, in a rift valley marking the boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. Thingvellir National Park was established in 1930, marking the 1000th anniversary of Iceland's parliament - called Althing, which was established at Thingvellir in 930. It was established to protect the site of the parliament and to ensure it would never be sold or mortgaged. It remains the property of all Icelanders. Thingvellir National Park has been the subject of paintings by famous painters in Iceland because of its natural beauty. Thingvellir is the world's oldest existing parliament.
Interesting Thingvellir National Park Facts:
Thingvellir is derived from an Old Norse word meaning 'assembly field'. Thingvellir was used as a place to settle disputes and was used as an open air assembly for the entire country of Iceland.
Thingvellir was the seat of parliament - every summer for two weeks people travelled from across Iceland - as many as 5,000 - to attend Althing.
In other languages Thingvellir is written as Tingvalla, Thingvalla, or Tingvellir.
In 1928, legislation was passed to create Thingvellir National Park, and it 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."
The Icelandic painter Ásgrímur Jónsson has more than 150 paintings of Thingvellir National Park in the National Gallery of Iceland.
In Iceland there is a Golden Circle - a tourist route of 300 km. Thingvellir National Park is one of the top three tourist attractions in the Golden Circle.
Thingvellir National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
Thingvellir is considered to be Iceland's national shrine.
Tourists to Thingvellir National Park can enjoy scuba diving and fishing in the park's waters. The brown trout found in the lakes are some of the largest in the world due to the constant flow of groundwater.
There are roughly 172 higher plant species found in Thingvellir National Park, which includes about 40% of the flora in Iceland. Trees commonly found in the park include willow, birch, dwarf birch and many others.
There are approximately 52 species of birds living in the region around the park's largest lake. Some of these species include white tailed eagles, harlequin duck, the great northern diver, and goldeneye.
Fish species found in Thingvellir National Park waters are limited but include brown trout, Arctic charr, and three spine stickleback.
Visitors to Thingvellir National Park can enjoy activities such as horseback riding tours, visiting church cemeteries, observation station views, visit Iceland's largest lake, toss a coin in the fissure called Nikulasargja. There was a bridge built over the fissure in 1907 and visitors can look down and see the coins in the water below.
Game of Thrones was filmed in Thingvellir and in other parts of Iceland.
The area where Thingvellir National Park is located is considered to be an active volcanic area.
Thingvellir National Park is located 40km northeast of Iceland's largest city, also its capital city Reykjavik.


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