I've been away a few weeks, I'm sorry I couldn't publish sooner; I hope this long post will compensate for my absence.
The Faroe Islands are a Danish territory halfway between Iceland and Scotland. The Faroese main town and capital is Tórshavn, located in the southeastern coast of Streymoy, the largest island of the archipelago
Though Tórshavn is quite small for a capital, it still displays a rich heritage and History as well as a modern European lifestyle, old turf roofed houses live side by side with galleries and cafés.
The city was founded in the 10th century and was named after Thór, the god of thunder and lightning in Norse mythology. The Vikings established their parliament on the Tinganes peninsula in 825 AD. The Viking settlers established their own parliament called 'ting'. They would meet on the flat rocks of Tinganes every summer, until probably 1035.
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
Coordinates: 62° 0′ N, 6° 46′ W
Population: ~ 13 000
(urban area: ~20 000)
After 1035 the 'ting' gave place to a market which gradually grew into a permanent trading area by the port. All through the Middle Ages the narrow peninsula jutting out into the sea made up the main part of Tórshavn. In 1856, free trade came to the Faroe Islands; as the islands opened to the world, Tórshavn gained a central trade position, thus became the capital of the Faroe Islands since 1866.
'Tinganes' means "parliament jetty".
This is one of the oldest parliamentary meeting places in the world, along with Tynwald hill in the Isle of Man and Þingvellir in Iceland. The parliament has since moved to the north of the city, but the home-rule government still sits here.
Á Reyni, the oldest borough
Turf roofed wooden houses painted in blach with white or red framed windows - that's the oldest part of the town.
The houses were made of drift wood, since there were no trees on the islands. Driftwood was then a precious commodity!
The H. N. Jacobsen bookstore
HNJ Books is right next door to the Visitor Information Centre and is a little treasure trove of scandinavian books.
Tórshavn's two harbours:
Vestaravág (West Harbour)
View from Vágsbotnur.
Poul Hansen warehouses, since 1927.
For a more refined outdoor seating: Kaffihúsið
Kaffihúsið, also located on the waterfront, has a local atmosphere in a modern decoration.
Eystaravág (East Harbour)
The old kiosk
Also in Áarvegur, another cosy café, the Jynx, on the sidewalll of a turfed roof cottage.
Guðrun & Guðrun
the most attractive shop in Tórshavn for foreign visitors.
This design store/café is a space where Faroese designers can showcase their work: fashion, jewellery and homewares are all on display and available for purchase. A 'chic' space for coffee and snacks.
The Nordic House
The Nordic House (Nordens Hús) in the Faroe Islands, the most important cultural institution in the Faroes.
Well, I do think the Faroese have many reasons to be found of their capital city. And when they feast St. Olav, they publically show that joy.
As cruise ship tourism to norternmost Europe is developping, Tórshavn is visited annually by several big ships: still a remote destination, but its nordic charm and authenticity make for a long term appeal.