UNESCO World Heritage
UNESCO World Heritage Site
A GuideVenturous Guide

Thingvellir National Park

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Visited by us on October 23, 2020
TL;DR: Thingvellir National Park is located in the south-west of Iceland. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. It's the 1000 years old Viking Age birthplace of Iceland and a national shrine. Set in an open-air assembly plain - Þingvellir - is the oldest surviving Parliament in the World, the Alþing. Surrounded by mountains and a lake it's set next to the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a magnificent natural backdrop.

All about the

Thingvellir National Park

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Welcome to our collected information about the UNESCO World Heritage Site officially known as “Þingvellir National Park”! If you travel here and ask about it, the site is in Icelandic known as Þjóðgarðurinn á Þingvöllum. We call it Thingvellir National Park or just Thingvellir.
[ ˈθiŋkˌvɛtlɪr̥ ]

The Oldest Parliament in the World

World Heritage Site
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Where is Thingvellir

So far we have made three fantastic trips to this beautiful and diverse continent. The adventures have been to some very different places. Our first was to the North West, to Morocco. The next was to the island country, Cape Verde. Our latest adventure was truly an adventure, we spent about two weeks in Tanzania.
Southern Region

Why is Thingvellir
a World Heritage Site

Thingvellir National Park and all of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites are amazing per definition. The term UNESCO uses is that they are of “Outstanding Universal Value“. All the 1121 sites on the list have been carefully qualified and selected among the many suggested each year. In fact, the list of nominated sites is currently 1734 sites long. We, the humankind, have though the United Nations together decided that we really should make an extra effort in saving, protecting and taking care of these wonderful sites. This because of their value to us, both now and perhaps even more for future generations. When qualifying to be included into this exclusive list there are 10 different categories that you can qualify in. You can qualify in more than one, most sites do. Thingvellir National Park qualified in 2 of them. It was selected to be included because of:

World Heritage Type






Þingvellir is the birthplace of Iceland. It is home to the oldest parliament in the world, the 1000-year-old Alþing. This open-air assembly plain is the location for most Icelandic historic events. The national shrine is surrounded by mountains and Lake Þingvallavatn. It is where the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is, creating a powerful backdrop. During the Viking Age, chieftains met up here yearly to set laws and settled disputes. The Alþing and its surroundings give us insight into how Viking Age pioneers organized their society from scratch and evolved towards the modern world.

UNESCO's  2 Why

Cultural Reason #3
Cultural Reason #6
Þingvellir National Park is the location of the Alþing "The Assembly". Here are still the remains of the meeting ground and the booths for those who attended. These probably date back to the time the assembly was founded more than a thousand years ago.
Þingvellir - literally "Assembly Plains" has an absolutely iconic status in Iceland. It's located at the continental rift valley serving as a powerful natural backdrop for the open-air parliamentary assembly ground called Alþing. The Alþing has both deep historical, and symbolic importance for the people of Iceland. It is a shrine for the national Icelandic identity dating back to the Viking Age.
Testimony to Cultural Tradition or Civilisation
Event or Tradition of Universal Significance

World Heritage Protection Status





Timeline for the
Thingvellir World Heritage Site



Thingvellir was physically created.



Thingvellir was established.


Iceland nominated Thingvellir National Park to become a World Heritage Site.



The application from Iceland was approved and Þingvellir National Park officially became a World Heritage Site.



Unfortunately, Thingvellir National Park is one of the, luckily, few World Heritage Site where we, humanity, failed protecting it. In it became part of the Endangered List. It’s a list no site ever wants to be on. Iceland itself is the one responsible for making sure that the promise they made to the rest of humankind is being held.


Great news for humankind! The issues that put Thingvellir National Park on the Endangered list in have been resolved. Don’t we love it when we have a happy ending!?
Things change. So did things for Þingvellir National Park. Because of this there are some letters after the UNESCO Reference Number 1152. After this update, Thingvellir’s is .

Visited by us!

Landmark event, obviously! Our first visit to the Þingvellir National Park World Heritage Site. This was our 125 site visited out of the 128  we have travelled to so far.

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Thingvellir National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site
Thingvellir National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site
Thingvellir National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site
Thingvellir National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site
Thingvellir National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site
Thingvellir National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site
Thingvellir National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site
Thingvellir National Park UNESCO World Heritage Site