Tórshavn City Council
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|As a stepping-stone on the viking trail from
Scandinavia to North America or just as a welcome "pied ý terre" to those
crossing the great ocean, the Faroe Islands is the green home for birds, sheep and people.
And there, in the very centre of the islands, is Tórshavn.
Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands
Tórshavn is said to be perhaps the smallest capital in the world (approx. 15,000 inhabitants), and as an administrative and political centre it may even be the oldest in Scandinavia. The old site of the Thing is on the headland in the middle of the harbour of Tórshavn. Today, the Faroese Government offices are in the old listed buildings on the very point of the promotory, while the Parliament is in an old wooden building in the centre of the town.
Tórshavn is a modern town which, owing to modern communication and infrastructure, is not at all as isolated as it used to be during the past centuries. But it retains its unique character, fascinating, small and different from any other capital in the world.
Age-old history and beautiful surroundings
Tórshavn's city centre. Photo: Alan Brockie.
Visitors interested in history can spend hours walking in the old town with its small tarred wooden houses with grass roofs, the oldest being more than 500 years old, and so close together that you wonder how they managed to build them. Towering above the harbour is the old fortress, built in 1630 to protect the market from pirates, who haunted the waters around the Faroe Islands for centuries.
Culture and leisure
The traditional Faroese dance accompanied by the old ballads, telling the stories of the vikings, their lives and their battles, is derived from its medieval heritage and has helped in the survival of the Faroese culture and language.
Though they did not use instrumental song then, a new generation of musicans and music is developing rapidly, and several music and song festivals are held during the summer.
Sport and leisure
Being geographically the centre of the islands, Tórshavn provides good opportunities for taking trips all over the islands. Travel connections by bus and ferry are very good.
The port of Tórshavn is the main harbour in the Faroe Islands and has kept pace with the increasing demands of business activities during recent years. It can provide visitors, as well as ships and crews, with all the necessary services and help that may be required.
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