Tórshavn, meaning ‘harbour of the god Thor’, is the capital of the Faroe Islands and lies at the southeastern end of the island of Streymoy. With around 20,000 inhabitants it is said to be the smallest capital in the world and its colourful, grass-roofed houses fan out along the coast and up the hillsides.
Some of the old houses in the town are more than 500 years old and many are black (from being tarred to protect the wood from the elements) with green grass roofs.
Towering above the harbor is the Havnar Skansi fortress, dating from 1580 and built to defend the town against pirates. Tórshavn has five churches and the Hsvnar Kirja Cathedral, which was built in 1788 and contains a 17th century Danish altar and a bell that comes from a Norwegian ship, stranded in 1707.
Aside from being the capital, Tórshavn is also the main cultural centre of the island and is very proud of its museums and art galleries. The National History Museum consists of the main museum and two open-air museums displaying the history of the Faroes from traditional rowing boats to Viking excavations. The Saga Museum houses the only wax museum in the islands with 17 life-like figures allowing visitors to follow the history of the Faroes from the first settlers that came to the islands.
- Information provided by Cruise and Maritime Voyages
- Information provided by tour guide on Cruise and Maritime Voyages excursion