Thursday, April 22, 2010

ICELAND - Almannagjá in Þingvellir National Park



ICELAND stamp


Þingvellir location in ICELAND

Þingvellir is a place in Bláskógarbyggð in southwestern Iceland, near the peninsula of Reykjanes and the Hengillvolcanic area. Þingvellir is a site of historical, cultural, and geological importance and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland. It is also the site of a rift valley and home to Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland.

Parliament or Alþingi was established at Þingvellir in 930 and remained there until 1789. 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. Þingvellir National Park was the first national park in Iceland and 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 two tectonic plates in Iceland

Almannagjá is 7.7 km long. Its greatest width is 64 m, and its maximum throw is 30-40 m. It marks the eastern boundary of the North American plate. Its equivalent across the graben, marking the western boundary of the Eurasian plate is Hrafnagjá. It is 11 km long, 68 m wide and has a maximum throw of 30 m. The Þingvellir faults are believed to be the surface expressions of deeply rooted normal faults. The numerous fissures encountered on the valley floor are of similar origin.



Þingvellir National Park


Date of inscription : 2004

Þingvellir (Thingvellir) is the National Park where the Althing – an open-air assembly, which represented the whole of Iceland – was established in 930 and continued to meet until 1798. Over two weeks a year, the assembly set laws – seen as a covenant between free men – and settled disputes. The Althing has deep historical and symbolic associations for the people of Iceland. The property includes the Þingvellir National Park and the remains of the Althing itself: fragments of around 50 booths built from turf and stone. Remains from the 10th century are thought to be buried underground. The site also includes remains of agricultural use from the 18th and 19th centuries. The park shows evidence of the way the landscape was husbanded over 1,000 years.

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Postcard sent by Vala, as "vala"

Private swap - Reference IS002

Aerial view over Almannagjá with Þingvellir Lake in the background.
Iceland is situated on two tectonic plates,
the North American and Eurasian.
The movement and separation of these plates
is evidenced in the many features of
Þingvellir :
volcanoes, fissures, faults and the sunken valley.
Almannagjá marks the eastern boundary of the North American plate.

takk



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