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About This GigapanToggle
- Taken by
- Brian Richards
- Explore score
- 0.13 Gigapixels
- Date added
- Jan 05, 2014
- Date taken
- Jun 16, 2013
- geology, landscape, travel, virtual reality, social
This pano was taken on the IVRPA 2013 Conference visit to Þingvellir. For a 360 Spherical Panoramic view see www.3dpan.org/147623
Þingvellir is a site of historical, cultural, and geological importance in Iceland. It is the site of a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It is also home to Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland.
Parliament or Alþingi was established at Þingvellir in 930 and remained there until 1798. Þingvellir was the centre of Icelandic culture. Every year during the Commonwealth period, people would flock to Þingvellir from all over the country, sometimes numbering in the thousands. They set up dwellings with walls of turf and rock and temporary roofing and stayed in them for the two weeks of the assembly. Although the duties of the assembly were the real reason for going there, ordinary people gathered at Þingvellir for a wide variety of reasons. Merchants, sword-sharpeners, and tanners would sell their goods and services, entertainers performed, and ale-makers brewed drinks for the assembly guests. News was told from distant parts; games and feasts were held. Young people met to make their plans, no less than leading national figures and experts in law. Itinerant farmhands looked for work and vagrants begged. Þingvellir was a meeting place for everyone in Iceland, laying the foundation for the language and literature that have been a prominent part of people's lives right up to the present day
Þingvellir 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. The continental drift between the North American and Eurasian Plates can be clearly seen in the cracks or faults which traverse the region, the biggest one, Almannagjá, being a veritable canyon.Situated at Þingvellirwhich became a national park in 1928 due to its historical importance, as well as the special tectonic and volcanic environment as a rift valley.