Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Thingvellir National Park, Iceland: Lögberg (Law Rock)

This is something of an odd place for a flag, but then again it's an odd place for a Parliament.

Iceland's legislative body started meeting in this area in 930, and continued to do so through 1798. It's a rather remarkable story. As settlers moved into the island, some sort of government was necessary. So each year, people would gather here to talk about the political matters of the day. It was an easy trip for most of the population, and the summer gatherings became something a festival in a sense. Temporary structures were set up for business and housing purposes.

Lögberg (Law Rock), which was in the area shown in the picture, was the center of the legislative action. At times, political readers would read some of the laws of the land aloud. There were discussions about the laws, so you could certainly say it was the Supreme Court of Iceland as well. Eventually, the place lost its legislative duties, but it still had a judicial functions. Executions often were carried out at that region. The region became a national park in 1930.

For more on Iceland in general, click here

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