- Firstly, Gullfoss serves as the name of a spectacular waterfall located in southern Iceland, in Europe. This astounding marvel of geology also forms an integral part of the Hvita River.
- Further, the surrounding terrain stays extremely rugged, and relatively untouched by man. The rapidly flowing water of Gullfoss originates from the second largest glacier in Iceland, named Langjokull.
- Additionally, in terms of tourist interest, this site is the most popular waterfall in all of Iceland. This holds true for multiple reasons, as the stunning location holds great natural beauty.
- Due to a unique combination of factors, on days when the sun is shining, a rainbow is visible throughout the day. However, on some occasions, multiple rainbows appear visible as well.
Gullfoss Physical Description
Most notably, Gullfoss is situated in a unique and isolated location. The southward-flowing river takes a decidedly sharp right turn about o.62 mi (1 km) before reaching the waterfall. Then it rapidly flows into a uniquely curved, three-step staircase.
Subsequent to that, it further plummets in two distinct stages. A drop of about 36 ft (11 m) constitutes the first of these. Furthermore, a second drop measuring roughly 69 ft (21 m) represents the second of them.
Finally, these two drops take place within a crevice 105 ft (32 m) deep, and only 60 ft (20 m) wide. The crevice itself also measures about 1.6 mi (2.5 km) in length and flows perpendicular to the river itself.
Gullfoss Cultural Significance
Additionally, Gullfoss holds a special place in the culture of the region. Throughout much of the first half of the 20th century, there was great interest in utilizing it as a source of hydroelectric power.
Foreign investors purchased the rights to the waterfall for just that reason. However, the daughter of the man who owned those rights before protested vehemently for the preservation of the pristine beauty of Gullfoss. After years of court battles, the young woman lost her case.
However, the foreign owners had exhausted their funds, partly due to the expense of the trials. As a result, the rights were sold to the government, which promptly established a conservation area to protect it.