The Althing (Icelandic: Alþingi) Iceland's General Assembly, was founded in 930 at Þingvellir, (literally Parliament Plains), situated 45 kilometers to the east of the capital, Reykjavík. The Althing held its sessions at Ţingvellir until 1799, when it was discontinued for a few decades. It was restored in 1844 and moved to Reykjavík, where it has resided ever since. The present house of the parliament, the Alþingishús, was built in 1881, of Icelandic hewn stone.

Unbeknownst to the ancient participants of Alþingi, Þingvellir is located between the rims of the North American and the European continental plates — perhaps a fitting symbol of Iceland's position today as having strong ties to both the Old and the New World.

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