"Torshavn - Capital of the Faroe Islands" Top 5 Page for this destination Tórshavn by MikeAtSea

Tórshavn Travel Guide: 132 reviews and 343 photos

Torshaven is situated in the centre of the Faroe Islands.
As long ago as the landnam period Torshaven became the central meeting place. Compared to the landnam standard the place was poor, the soil meagre and the summers were misty and cold. There was little driftwood to build houses, no cliffs with seabird colonies and the town was difficult to protect. Moreover the harbour conditions were inadequate in comparison to the rest of the Faroe Islands, making the place unsuitable for settlement.
However, it was central enough and so it was here where people met at the parliament as well as for legal judgement. The annual sitting of the parliament brough about an early development to a permanent trading town.
When the isles came under Norwegian rule and later under Danish rule, businesses were set up and permanent government officials made Torshavn their home. A fort was built to protect the traders. Labourers and soldiers were drawn from the poor and have-nots on the isles.
Whilst the Royal monopoly trade was still in force a man named Niels Ryberg obtained permission to beging a transit trade in Vagsbotnur. New skills were required amongst the inhabitants who taught themselves local crafts, to salt fish and to dry split cod. The expansion of Torshavn there for was programmed.

When monopoly trading was abolished in 1856 and free trade was introduced, development took off in a big way. The Faroese seafishing trade started in Torshavn. Owing to the poor harbour facilities the fishing developed faster in small settlements. Clearly it was imperative that Torshavn should have a good harbour and at last in 1927 it became reality.
Toshavn only became an official market town in 1909 and community was then still growing.
1974 the town has joined with Kaldbak and Hoyvik increasing the boroughs size threefold.
In 1801 the population of Torshavn was 554. By 1950 it had increased 10 times to 5607 and in 1985 it reached 13507.
Today Torshavn is a modern active town with trade, industry and administration; with schools and more further educational establishments, with sport facilities and even a national soccer team! A lively and pleasent town!

  • Last visit to Tórshavn: Aug 2008
  • Intro Updated Aug 9, 2008
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Reviews (24)

Comments (2)

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Sep 5, 2008 at 8:35 AM

    Excellent page of Toshavn. Great descriptions of the important buildings and obelisk. Nice to see a mail box picture and thanks so much for the postcard from here :)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Aug 17, 2008 at 6:53 AM

    Mike, fabulous new page about one of the far away places of Europe. Brilliant photos as well. I only once saw fishing boats from Torshavn in Thurso in Northen Scotland.


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