The Golden Circle

Straddling both sides of the Öxará river are the ruins of various temporary camps called búðir (literally 'booths'). These stone foundations were covered during Alþingi sessions and were where parliament-goers camped. They also acted like stalls at today’s music festivals, selling beer, food and vellum to the assembled crowds. Most of the remains date from the 17th and 18th centuries; the largest, and one of the oldest, is Biskupabúð, which belonged to the bishops of Iceland and is located north of the church.

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Nearby The Golden Circle attractions

1. Þingvallakirkja

0.02 MILES

Behind the Þingvallabær farmhouse, Þingvallakirkja is one of Iceland’s first churches. The original was consecrated in the 11th century, but the current…

2. Þingvallabær

0.04 MILES

The little farmhouse in the bottom of the rift, Þingvallabær was built for the 1000th anniversary of the Alþing in 1930 by state architect Guðjón…

3. Alþingi Site

0.15 MILES

Near the dramatic Almannagjá fault and fronted by a boardwalk is the Lögberg (Law Rock), where the Alþingi (Parliament) convened annually. This was where…

4. Tectonic Plates

1.02 MILES

The Þingvellir plain is situated on a tectonic-plate boundary where North America and Europe are tearing away from each other at a rate of 1mm to 18mm per…

5. Þingvellir National Park

1.85 MILES

The world’s oldest parliament, Althingi (pronounced ál-thingk-ee; also called Alþing) was uniquely situated at this monumental site where two tectonic…

6. Þingvallavatn

2.04 MILES

Filling much of the rift plain, Þingvallavatn is Iceland’s largest lake, at 84 sq km. Pure glacial water from Langjökull filters through bedrock for 40km…

7. Glymur

10.01 MILES

At the head of Hvalfjörður, and up Botnsdalur valley, lies Glymur, Iceland’s highest waterfall (198m). From the trailhead, it’ll take a couple of hours to…

8. Ljósafoss Power Station

11.82 MILES

The 1937 Ljósafoss Power Station catches the outflow of lake Úlfljótsvatn and turns it into electricity. In 2016, an elaborate state-of-the-art multimedia…