Full text: Iceland 1930

Of hotels there are: Hotel Island, Skjaldbreid, Hétel Hekla, and 
the modern Hétel Borg, opened in 1929, 
Electricity for the town is obtained from a plant driven by water 
For sight seeing, Thingvellir is quite unique and presents one of 
the finest sceneries in Iceland with all its varied formations of lava, 
rift — Almannagji being the chief among them all, — the little 
waterfall of Oxar4, the grand mountain view, the beautiful lake Thing- 
vallavatn, etc. etc. But the historical interest of the place is even still 
greater, as from the year 930 to 1798 Althingi or the Parliament of 
Iceland met here every summer, in the open air. People from all parts 
of the country came here during the session, the number of visitors 
often running up to several thousands. 
Besides being a legislative assembly, Althingi also possessed judicia 
powers and all important matters that could not be settled by the local 
authorities in the country, were brought before this general meeting. 
Skirmishes and even big battles often took place here, when riotous 
chiefs did not like the verdict of the jury. 
During the session, which lasted about 2 weeks, the whole place 
was studded with tents as all the visitors had to camp, but the more 
powerful leaders had their so-called booths (Icelandic: biidir), where 
they stayed with their favourite attendants. The booths were built up of 
turf and stone and covered with Icelandic vadmal or homespun; many 
of the ruins of these booths are still to be seen. 
On the eastern wall of the Almannagjs is the place where the 
taw-speaker had to proclaim all the existing laws. Here also were 
announced all important declarations. The name of this place is Liégbera. 
Reykjaholt was the residence of Snorri Sturluson, and here he was 
treacherously murdered in 1241 by order of the king of Norway. His 
bathing place still remains here and is called Snorralaug (Snorri’s 
Bath). It is circular in form and about 4 metres in diameter, buill 
up of split stones and cemented. There is a stone bench all around 
its inside, with the wall for a back, and it is supplied with water 
from one of the many hot springs in the neighbourhood, conveyed 
underground for a distance of more than 100 meires. 
It is evident from the life of Snorri, written by his contemporaries,

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