Thingvellir (Þingvellir) is an expansive lava field lying on the banks of the largest natural lake in Iceland – Pingvallavatn. It is situated directly on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the European and North American tectonic plates are slowly shifting away from each other. A registered UNESCO World Heritage Site, Thingvellir, was once the meeting place of the first parliament called the Alpingi - where representatives all around Iceland came together in an open-air assembly from 930 to 1798. The area around Pingvellir has great geological significance because of its unique mineral-rich landscape combined with an abundant diversity of animal and plant life.