Þingvellir or Thingvellir in latin letters, is the place of the parliament and justice of the ancient vikings. The vikings weren’t a nation. They were organized in independent tribes and these tribes organized themselves. They met on a regular schedule to debate about problems, sit in judgment and to decide about laws.
Whenever vikings conquered a land, they picked a place for their “Thing”. Don’t mix this word up with the english word thing. It has a complete different meaning. This place was donated to the gods and the governing assembly of a viking (and also Nordic and Germanic) society. these societies were made up of the free people of the community presided over by lawspeakers. Its meeting-place was called a thing stead. Thus, you can say, these Germanic societies were an early form of democracy.
Thingvellir is the place where the Icelandic Thing held place. It’s still an important place in the Icelandic society. Here, the Republic of Iceland was founded in 1944.
In the above image you can see the round Thing stead between the church and the three small houses surrounded by a small wall of broken stones. The whole place is located in a wide valley. This is the crack, where the north American continent flees from the European continental plate. But more on this in another post.
Enjoy the gallery below showing some impressions of this historical place.