Faroe Islands

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Føroyar (Faroese)
Færøerne (Danish)
Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands flag
Faroe Islands coat of arms
flag coat of arms
Official language Faroese and Danish
Capital Tórshavn (Danish Thorshavn )
State and form of government parliamentary monarchy with self-administration 1
Head of state Queen Margrethe II. (Represented by the Reichsombudsfrau Lene Johansen Moyell )
Head of government Prime Minister Bárður á Steig Nielsen
surface 1,395.74 km²
population 51,371 (January 1, 2019)
Population density 35 inhabitants per km²
gross domestic product 9.699 billion DKK (2003)
Gross domestic product per inhabitant 202,000 DKK (2003)
currency Faroese crown 2
independence Autonomy since 1948
National anthem With alfagra land
Time zone UTC
UTC + 1 daylight saving time (March to October)
License Plate FO 3
ISO 3166 FO
Internet TLD .fo
Phone code +298
1“Equal Nation” within the Kingdom of Denmark
2 Corresponds to the Danish Krone (DKK)
3 Formerly FR
Grönland Island Färöer Irland Vereinigtes Königreich Norwegen Dänemark Schweden DeutschlandFaroe Islands in its region.svg
About this picture
Map of the Faroe Islands de.svg
Template: Infobox State / Maintenance / NAME-GERMAN
FÆROARUM - Prima & accurata delineatio. Lucas Debes drew the oldest known Faroe Islands map in 1673.

The Faroe Islands [ ˈfɛːʁøɐ ] ( Faroese Føroyar [ ˈfœɹjaɹ ], Danish Færøerne [ ˈfɛɐ̯ˌøːˀɐnə ] "the sheep islands ") are a group of 18 islands belonging to Denmark with an autonomous administration . They are located in the North Atlantic between Scotland , Norway and Iceland . They were discovered and settled in the Middle Ages. Today, with the exception of the smallest island, Lítla Dímun , all of them are permanently inhabited.

The majority of the approximately 50,000 islanders - the Faroese , also known as the Faroe Islands - do not consider themselves to be Danes , but rather as an independent people descended from the Vikings in the Faroe Islands . They speak the Faroese language , which originated from Old West Norse and is related to Icelandic and Norwegian .

According to the Fámjin Treaty of 2005, the Faroese, like the Greenlanders , form an “equal nation” within the Kingdom of Denmark . Their islands have enjoyed extensive autonomy since 1948 and with the Løgting they have one of the oldest parliaments in the world. It regularly sends two MEPs to the Danish Folketing and is represented by two delegates in the Nordic Council .

Unlike the mainland Denmark, the Faroe Islands are not part of the European Union and, according to Article 4, Paragraph 1 of the European Customs Code, do not belong to the customs territory of the Union. For this reason, none of the treaties on the EU or its working methods apply to the Faroe Islands. They belong to the pan-Euro-Mediterranean zone for the harmonization of rules of origin of goods. Since November 1, 2006, the Faroe Islands have formed an economic union with Iceland. Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands have been working together in the West Nordic Council since 1985 .

Until the 19th century, sheep breeding was the most important branch of business and Faroese wool was the most important export. Today the Faroe Islands are dominated by fisheries and the related economy. Since the mid-1990s there has been a search for oil in the waters around the islands ; however, all previous test drillings were unsuccessful.


The bird cliffs Vestmannabj ørgini on Streymoy are up to 645 m high and one of the most popular destinations for boat tours

The Faroe Islands are 62 °  north latitude and 7 °  west longitude in the North Atlantic between Scotland (with the Hebrides in the south, Shetland and Orkney in the south-east), Norway in the east and Iceland in the north-west. Further north is the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen in the Arctic Ocean .

The Faroe Islands in a NASA photo
Faroe Islands and the surrounding area in a NASA photo

The archipelago with its 18 islands , 11  spars and around 750  skerries has an area of ​​1395.7 km². The Faroe Islands form a triangle that tapers to the south and are 118 km long from Enniberg in the north to Sumbiarsteinur in the south, and 75 km wide from Mykineshólmur in the west to Fugloy in the east. The rugged coastline, which often protrudes vertically from the sea, stretches for 1289 km. The average height is 300 m above sea level. On a clear day you can see all the islands from the highest mountain Slættaratindur (882 m). With Cape Enniberg , the Faroe Islands have the highest cliff in the world (754 m) that juts vertically out of the sea. There are still some higher promontories on earth, but they are not perpendicular.

No point in the Faroe Islands is more than 5 km from the sea. Almost all places in the Faroe Islands are located in protected natural harbors, in fjords and bays. It is often swampy in valleys and on plateaus and the land is criss-crossed by many small and large streams, which often plunge into the valley or directly into the sea as waterfalls.


The Faroe Islands are of volcanic origin and formed in the Tertiary . They are around 60 million years old, around three times as old as Iceland . The only thermal spring Varmakelda reminds of this time. The islands are made of basalt , which alternates in characteristic stages with softer tuff layers . There was a long pause between the formation of the lower and middle basalt layers, in which rich vegetation settled. Renewed volcanic activity destroyed this flora. At Hvalba there are hard coal deposits that come from the former forests. There are interesting columnar basalts at Tvøroyri and on Mykines .

During the Ice Ages in the Quaternary , the Faroe Islands were completely covered by heavy glaciers, which led to the formation of the islands with their fjords, sounds and valleys today.


Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Tórshavn
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 5.3 5.5 5.9 7.2 9.2 11.4 12.6 12.8 11.2 9.3 6.6 5.8 O 8.6
Min. Temperature (° C) 1.2 1.5 1.5 2.7 4.9 7.1 8.4 8.5 7.0 5.4 2.6 1.6 O 4.4
Temperature (° C) 3.4 3.6 3.8 5.0 7.0 9.1 10.3 10.5 9.1 7.4 4.6 3.7 O 6.5
Precipitation ( mm ) 133 95 132 88 70 61 70 83 128 155 127 142 Σ 1284
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 0.5 1.3 2.3 3.6 4.0 4.2 3.6 3.1 2.6 1.6 0.7 0.2 O 2.3
Rainy days ( d ) 22nd 17th 21 16 12th 12th 13th 13th 18th 22nd 21 22nd Σ 209
Water temperature (° C) 5.6 5.4 5.5 6.3 7.5 9.1 10.1 10.6 10.0 8.8 7.5 6.3 O 7.7
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Climate diagram of Tórshavn

The weather in the Faroe Islands is maritime, humid and extremely changeable. This means that bright sunshine and thick fog can follow each other on the same day and that the weather in different places in the archipelago can be completely different.

The Faroese weather dominates the entire way of life of the island people. Because of the constant change in weather, the Faroe Islands are nicknamed Das Land von kanska (= "maybe"), which the British soldiers gave them in World War II : Islands of Maybe (see Norgate, references below).

Frequent rain (but rarely all day) and the high amount of fog provide the moisture for the lush green of the grass. The air is clear and the often fresh wind blows mostly from the southwest. In addition to the rain, you have to be prepared for a storm. Occasionally, the foothills of tropical cyclones reach the archipelago. In 1966, Hurricane Faith brought wind speeds of 160 km / h with it.

Due to its location on the Gulf Stream , the Faroe Islands have comparatively mild temperatures in view of the geographical latitude. The average temperature in summer is 11 ° C, in winter 3 ° C. The harbors are ice-free all year round, and in winter the occasional snow does not stay long in the inhabited lower areas.



Alchemilla faeroënsis , the Faroese
lady 's mantle
The official national flower of the Faroe Islands is the Sólja (local name for the marsh marigold .)

There are hundreds of flowering plants , lichens , mosses and mushrooms in the Faroe Islands . However, trees do not occur naturally there at present. It has not been conclusively clarified whether the Faroe Islands used to be forested before the beginning of human settlement.

It is believed that only a few arctic plant species on the mountain peaks survived the Ice Age . In essence, the new colonization of the plants in the Faroe Islands took place from Scotland and Norway.

Flowering plants

In summer, various wild plant species bloom in many places, which give the islands, which are otherwise overgrown with grass, an unmistakable splash of color. The national flower is the yellow blooming (Mýru) Sólja , the marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) . With the Føroyaskøra , the Faroese lady 's mantle ( Alchemilla faeroënsis ), the islands have given their name to a plant species.


The coal layers on Suðuroy under the youngest basalt layers indicate that there used to be forest here, which was presumably dominated by birch trees . In 2010 a thick tree was discovered again on Nólsoy, which had been petrified in the basalt for 55 million years. Traces of large plants and an ancestor of the rhinos on Svalbard have also been identified from this time . With very few exceptions, the Faroe Islands are now treeless and overgrown with grass wherever the mountains allow. As there is no forest in the Faroe Islands, wood is a sought-after import item. Heating was formerly with peat , as the driftwood was scarce and was needed for building houses and boats.

Cultural forest

Again and again attempts were made to plant trees to forest the islands. Attempts at planting have been documented for at least a hundred years, whereby trees tend to be dwarfed, crippled and covered with bushes. Tróndur G. Leivsson is the third generation Landsskógarvørður, a kind of chief forest minister of the Faroe Islands. In 2005, the Faroe Islands reported 100 hectares of forest area according to the criteria of the United Nations , distributed over 19 forests of different sizes. That is about 0.7 ‰ ( per mille ) of the total area. Most of it is made up of conifers such as spruce , pine, and larch , but there are also some deciduous trees such as maples , alders, and birches . In the meantime, a real tree dweller, the stock dove , has also settled, which is dependent on old wood and comes from Central Europe.

List of cultural forests and parks:


The cultivation of plants is limited to cereals, grass, potatoes (since the beginning of the 18th century), rhubarb (the Faroese rhubarb does not have oxalic acid ) and some vegetables in greenhouses. Fruit usually has to be imported and is correspondingly expensive.


Due to the isolated island location, certain animal species do not naturally occur in the Faroe Islands: reptiles, toads, freshwater fish and mammals; the latter with two exceptions: the native gray seal and the pilot whale that strays into the fjords . Other whales in Faroese waters avoid these fjords, such as the orca . With the Faroese squirrel snail ( Polycera faeroensis  - Faroese: Bertákna ), the Faroe Islands also gave their name to a species of marine animals.

The Faroese bird life includes 309 species and subspecies including three domesticated taxa . The number of breeding birds is low with 85 species, 21 marine bird species breed here regularly. 19 areas, so-called Important Bird Areas (IBA), are classified by the organization BirdLife International as important for the protection of species and biotopes for birds.

The national bird is the oystercatcher (Tjaldur) . The Faroe Islands are home to, among other things, probably the world's largest colony of petrel with an estimated 150,000 to 400,000 pairs . Very common seabirds are the fulmar (600,000 breeding pairs), the puffin (350,000), the kittiwake (230,000) and the guillemot (175,000).

Four breeding in the Faroe Islands subspecies are endemic , the Star Sturnus vulgaris faroensis , the black guillemot Cepphus grylle faeroeensis , the eider Somateria mollissima faeroeensis and Wren Troglodytes troglodytes borealis . The Merlin is the only native bird of prey . Rare birds such as the giant alk and the white and white raven have become extinct, although the latter only existed in the Faroe Islands.

Only humans brought pets such as sheep , cattle, horses (the Faroe pony is a separate breed), dogs and cats. The sheep here produce a particularly large amount of lanolin , which makes their wool water-repellent. Freshwater fish such as trout and salmon have also been released in the lakes. There is also a wild increase in rabbits, rats and mice.

In the Faroe Islands, mosquitoes are spared, which are not found here, but you also have to do without local honey, as this insect does not exist here. The wasp is also new to the Faroe Islands (introduced at the end of the 1990s) . Presumably, the wasps were brought to the island in ships from the European continent when building material for the new football stadium was being delivered. It is said that the islanders who were inexperienced in doing this developed fear of wasps in general. The same phenomenon occurred at the same time in Iceland. The moth Hepialus humuli is dominant among the insects of the Faroe Islands , and since 2004 it has also graced the new 200-krone note .


Faroese in Faroese costume
The place Kvívík around 1900
While the west coasts of the islands are often steep and inaccessible, the land slopes gently to the east; Most of the Faroese live there in the bays. View from Beinisvørð cliff to the north.

Ethnic composition

Of the around 50,000 inhabitants of the Faroe Islands (spread over 17,000 private households ), 98% are citizens of the Reich , i.e. Faroese , Danes or Greenlanders . The following origins of the inhabitants can be derived from the place of birth: 91.7% were born in the Faroe Islands, 5.8% in Denmark and 0.3% in Greenland. Together with some naturalized people, these three groups make up the citizens of the Reich.

The largest group of foreigners are the Icelanders with 0.5%, followed by Norwegians with 0.37%, the Filipinos with 0.27%, the Thais with 0.23% and the British with 0.2%. In total, people from 77 countries live on the Faroe Islands.

It is not possible to deduce the number of Faroese native speakers from these figures for two reasons: Firstly, a large number of Faroese native speakers live in Denmark; quite a few were born there and return in the course of their lives with their parents or as adults. Second, there are long-established Danish families in the Faroe Islands who speak Danish at home .

Demographic development

While the first inhabitants of the Faroe Islands, Irish monks, lived as small groups of hermits, the Viking conquest resulted in a notable population that settled at around 4,000 and never exceeded 5,000 until the 18th century. Around 1349/50 about half of the population died of the plague . Another wave of immigration from Scandinavia was able to gradually compensate for this decline in population. Only with the advent of deep-sea fishing (and thus independence from difficult agriculture) and general progress in the health sector did rapid population growth take place in the Faroe Islands. From the end of the 18th century, the population increased tenfold within 200 years. At the beginning of the 1990s there was a severe economic crisis with noticeable emigration, but this turned back into net immigration in the following years. When the mark of 48,000 inhabitants was exceeded in 2004, the number of inhabitants was roughly the same as at the beginning of the crisis in the early 1990s. In April 2015, the population reached a new high of 48,795 people, and in August 2015, for the first time in the history of the Faroe Islands, more than 49,000 people lived on the 18 rocky islands in the North Atlantic.

The Faroe Islands are one of those countries in the world where there are more men than women. 52% male residents compared to 48% female residents (January 1, 2007). In the age group of 20 to 39 year olds, the difference is 11%. This is mainly due to the employment situation for young women.

Faroese women have an average of 2.6 children. This is the highest birth rate in the Nordic countries. At the same time, there are the fewest divorces, the fewest suicides and the fewest abortions. The population growth was + 0.8% in 2015.

Life expectancy in 2016 was a total of 80.4 years (men: 77.8 years / women: 83.1 years).

year Residents
1327 approx. 4,000
1350 approx. 2,000
1769 4,773
1801 5,255
1834 6,928
1840 7,314
1845 7,782
1850 8,137
1855 8,651
1880 11,220
1900 15,230
1911 approx. 18,800
1925 22,835
1950 31,781
1970 approx. 38,000
1975 40,441
year Residents
January 1, 1985 45,318
January 1, 1990 47,770
January 1, 1995 43,644
January 1, 1997 43,751
January 1, 1998 44,235
January 1, 1999 44,772
January 1, 2000 45,353
January 1, 2001 46.144
January 1, 2002 46,961
January 1, 2003 47,668
January 1, 2004 48.178
January 1, 2005 48,337
January 1, 2006 48,170
January 1, 2007 48,327
January 1, 2008 48,360
January 1, 2009 48,716
year Residents
January 1, 2010 48,660
January 1, 2011 48,583
January 1, 2012 48.287
January 1, 2013 48.204
1st of January 2014 48,308
January 1, 2015 48,704
January 1, 2016 49.192
January 1, 2017 49,884
January 1, 2018 50,498
January 1, 2019 51,371


Faroese are increasingly wearing their traditional costumes; Nowadays almost every high school graduate wears them at the graduation ceremony (here with the typical student hat ).

The Faroese language , which comes from Old Norse , is one of the smallest Germanic languages. It is best understood by speakers of the Icelandic and Western Norwegian dialects. Her closest relative was the now-extinct norn of the Shetland Islands.

As a result of the Reformation around 1540, it was superseded by Danish in all official areas and only passed on orally for centuries in the form of countless Faroese ballads . Pioneers such as Jens Christian Svabo and Johan Henrik Schrøter ensured that their language was first written down in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. V. U. Hammershaimb and Jakob Jakobsen formed today's orthography. As a result of the language dispute in the 20th century, Faroese was able to assert itself as the main language in all areas, so that today Danish only has the character of an official lingua franca. For example, Faroese laws always have to be translated into Danish.

Signs and announcements are generally in Faroese, and if a second language is used, it is English, not the official second language Danish, which is taught in school and is therefore understood by most Faroese - at least in writing. Other foreign languages ​​are German and French.

The Faroese language policy , which was shaped by Jóhan Hendrik Winther Poulsen , ensures that the terms of modern life are actively recreated. It is just as puristic as the one in Iceland and avoids foreign words and anglicisms.

In addition to the approximately 45,000 ethnic Faroe Islands themselves, there are at least 15,000 other native speakers, mostly in Denmark. In 1998, Føroysk orðabók was the first native language dictionary to appear. Faroese can be studied at the University of the Faroe Islands .

For the patro- and metronymic naming law that has been in effect again since 1992, see Faroese personal names .


The new church in Gøta was inaugurated by Queen Margrethe .

The Faroe Islands were Christianized from 999 by Sigmundur Brestisson . Irish monks lived there as hermits before. Almost all Faroese are Christians . 2017 were around 80% of the population members of the Evangelical - Lutheran state church. About 7–10% are members of the Brethren Churches (Faroese: Brøðrasamkoman ) created through the work of the revival preacher William Gibson Sloan .

About 5% belong to other Christian churches: In addition to the Pentecostals with their seven churches, there are the Adventists who run a relatively large general private school in Tórshavn , and the approximately 124  Jehovah's Witnesses in four congregations. The Catholic Church in the Faroe Islands now has around 270 members. Your old Franciscan school is now run again by the municipality of Tórshavn .

In addition, there are around 15  Baha'i who meet in four different locations. Ahmadiyya Muslims founded their own community in 2010.

The best-known churches include the St. Olav's Church and the unfinished Magnus Cathedral in Kirkjubøur , the Tórshavn Cathedral , the Catholic Church of St. Mary in Torshavn, the Christianskirkjan in Klaksvík , the Church of Fámjin , the octagonal church of Haldórsvík and not least the Gøtu Kirkja in Norðragøta .

Bible translations in Faroese appeared in 1948 ( Victor Danielsen , Brethren) and 1961 ( Jacob Dahl and Kristian Osvald Viderø , State Church).


Earliest settlements

The Baglhólmur is said to have been inhabited by Irish monks.
Cemetery gardeners look after Sigmundur's grave on Skúvoy .
Initial initial of the sheep letter in the valuable Lundabók from 1310, which has been kept in the university library in Lund in Sweden since the 18th century (hence the name)

The oldest traces of human settlement are charred barley grains from Á Sondum, which were discovered in 2013. They date from the middle of the 4th to the middle of the 6th century, with others from the period between the late 6th and the late 8th centuries. There was also a Viking house from the 9th century.

Until then, the islands were considered uninhabited at that time.

Irish monks

The Faroe Islands were rediscovered by Irish monks around 625 and settled from Sumba . Archaeological evidence can also be found in the immediate vicinity at Akraberg , Víkarbyrgi and a little further north in Porkeri . Among other things, botanical studies on Mykines have shown that oats have been cultivated there since that time . However, these must have been comparatively small groups of hermits.

Viking conquest

Typical dragon head decoration on a Faroese rowing boat, the traditional Havnarbáturin (Tórshavn tens)

The main immigration came in the 9th century by the Vikings , who moved west from Norway . According to the Faroese saga , the first settler was called Grímur Kamban . He is said to have lived in Funningur . There were two major waves of immigration during the Nordic conquest : around 820–860 refugees came from Norway, around 880–900 Vikings from Ireland and Scotland . The colonization of Iceland by the Vikings took place a few decades later. Legend has it that a Faroese settler named Naddoddur missed the Faroe Islands while traveling home from Norway and ended up in Iceland instead.


After the Norwegian king Olav Tryggvason 994 the English king Aethelred had baptized and then Norway had evangelized a year, he invited the prestigious Faroese chieftain Sigmundur Brestisson to his house, which then converted in 999 in the Faroe Islands for the adoption of Christianity by the Faroese thing, today's Løgting , took care of it. His tombstone on Skúvoy is one of the archipelago's most important monuments from that time. Olav's successor, Olav II. Haraldsson of Norway, was finally able to establish Christianity in Norway and also in the Faroe Islands and Iceland. For this he is still revered by the islanders on the day of his death, the Ólavsøka .

From 1035 the archipelago belonged politically to Norway, but was able to maintain a high degree of independence due to the distance to the central power. As a result, the Catholic bishops established themselves in Kirkjubøur , where there are other cultural monuments such as Magnus Cathedral (around 1300), which is on the list of applications for UNESCO World Heritage Sites . In 1298 the Faroe Islands received their "Basic Law" through the sheep letter from the Norwegian king, which is still valid today in parts of the foreign market management. (see there more details on the medieval history of the Faroe Islands)

Oldest known sheep seal from 1533

In 1380 the Faroe Islands came under the Danish-Norwegian crown as part of the personal union between Denmark and Norway . From 1397 to 1523 the islands were part of the Kalmar Union .


In 1538 the Reformation reached the islands. This perpetuated the predominance of the Danish language . The son of the first Lutheran provost Heini Havreki was the naval hero Magnus Heinason , who was beheaded in Copenhagen in 1589 on charges of piracy and has since been venerated by many Faroese as a national hero. The Fork Age proved to be the darkest period for the Faroe Islands in the 17th century. This status did not change after the Peace of Kiel in 1814 , as a result of which the Danish-Norwegian personal union was dissolved and Norway had to join a personal union with Sweden , but the Faroe Islands remained with Denmark together with Iceland and Greenland .

National movement

Linguist, theologian and politician in the 19th century: V. U. Hammershaimb

From 1846, the work of the linguist VU Hammershaimb resulted in the New Faroese written language on an etymological basis. Until then, Faroese had been passed down orally in their own ballads . Hammershaimb and his successors founded Faroese literature and developed ancient linguistic monuments.

After the national hero Nólsoyar Páll had rebelled at the beginning of the 19th century , the royal Danish trade monopoly over the Faroe Islands was lifted in 1856 . At the Christmas meeting of the Faroe Islands in 1888 , the national movement was constituted in the struggle for its own language and national independence. Initially, the national movement was more culturally oriented, but after the establishment of the first Faroese political parties in 1906 and the language dispute from 1909 to 1938 , it became political.

Second world war and autonomy

Great Britain occupied the Faroe Islands in World War II and moved its headquarters in the old Skansin fortress .

During the Second World War , the Faroe Islands were occupied by the United Kingdom on April 12, 1940 for strategic reasons in order to forestall Germany. The German Wehrmacht had occupied Denmark and Norway three days earlier in the Weser Exercise company , just ahead of a planned occupation of Norwegian ports by Great Britain that was in preparation.

The British built Vágar Airport and expanded the self-government of the Løgting , so that in 1946 the Faroese held a referendum on their full sovereignty to overcome the constitutional crisis and with a turnout of 66.4% with a narrow majority (48.7% versus 47, 2%) voted for state independence. Denmark refused to recognize this voting result, but agreed to start negotiations. Since the Autonomy Act of 1948, the islands have enjoyed extensive political independence.

The decision-making power over foreign and security policy remained with Denmark until the Fámjin Treaty (2005). This was particularly important in 1952, when Denmark declared membership of the Faroe Islands in NATO against the Løgting's vote . Since then, NATO military installations have been operated on the strategically important islands in the GI-UK gap (see Faroe Islands in the Cold War ).

When Denmark joined the European Community in 1973 , the Faroe Islands did not take this step. The archipelago consequently does not belong to the EU .

Politics and State Institutions

Administrative structure


Suduroy Sandoy Vagar Streymoy Eysturoy Nordinseln
The six Faroese regions (sýslur)
region Population (2012)
Norðoyar 5,829
Eysturoy 10,726
Streymoy 22,711
Vágar 3,078
Sandoy 1,327
Suðuroy 4,680

A general distinction is made between six geographic regions. These are identical to the sýslur ( Syssel ), which originally formed legal and police circles, each of which was headed by a Sýslumaður (Sysselmann). Today the Tórshavn Police Department has five police sections under itself.

  1. Norðoya sýsla: The most rugged landscapes and most of the highest mountains can be found on the six north islands in the northeast. These are: Kalsoy , Kunoy , Borðoy , Viðoy , Svínoy and Fugloy in the far east of the Faroe Islands. The North Island metropolis Klaksvík on Borðoy is the second largest city and the most important location for the fishing industry. Viðareiði on Viðoy is the northernmost place in the country in the middle of a unique landscape.
  2. Eysturoyar sýsla: To the west of the north islands, Eysturoy joins as the second largest island in the archipelago. Together with Streymoy, it forms the center of the Faroe Islands. The metropolitan area around Runavík is the largest urban settlement there, followed by Fuglafjørður . The two northern places Eiði and Gjógv are known for their scenic charms .
  3. Streymoyar sýsla: The largest island Streymoy is also the most populous with the capital Tórshavn as the administrative and cultural center and the most important seaport in the country. The town of Vestmanna on the west coast of the island is known for the imposing bird cliffs (Vestmannabjørgini) further north. Saksun and Tjørnuvík in the north are just as popular as Kirkjubøur in the south. The offshore islands of Nólsoy in the east and Hestur and Koltur in the west belong to the region of the main island .
  4. Vága sýsla: West of Streymoy is Vágar with the only airport and the bird paradise further to the west on the lonely island of Mykines , which forms the western outpost of the archipelago.
  5. Sandoyar sýsla: South of Streymoy is Sandoy , which takes its name from the relatively rare sandy beaches in this country. The small islands of Skúvoy and Groß-Dimun belong to this region .
  6. Suðuroyar sýsla: Finally, Suðuroy forms the fourth largest island in the archipelago and at the same time the southernmost part of the country. Geographically, Klein-Dimun is included in this . The cities of Tvøroyri and Vágur are the regional centers there. Sumba is the southernmost municipality in the Faroe Islands. The spectacular west coast is particularly easily accessible by land.

Municipalities and settlements

Sumba (Färöer) Vágur Porkeri Hov (Färöer) Fámjin Tvøroyri Hvalba Skúvoy Hvalba Húsavík (Färöer) Skálavík Sandur (Färöer) Skopun Tórshavn Sørvágur Vágar Vestmanna Kvívík Sunda kommuna Eiði Runavík Runavík Runavík Nes (Eysturoy) Sjóvar kommuna Eysturkommuna Klaksvík Húsar Fuglafjørður Kunoy Klaksvík Hvannasund Viðareiði Fugloy
The 29 Faroese municipalities since January 1st, 2017

The Faroe Islands are politically divided into 29 municipalities, before January 1, 2017 there were 30, and before January 1, 2009 there were 34.

Statistical data on the municipality structure can be found in the list of municipalities in the Faroe Islands .

The settlement is spread over 116 places today, from urban settlements to individual farms.

The list of cities and towns in the Faroe Islands also includes some now abandoned residential areas.


The head of state is Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, the Danish government is represented by the imperial ombudsman . The head of the state government of the Faroe Islands is the social democrat Aksel V. Johannesen . His center-left government has consisted of Social Democrats , Socialists and Liberals since September 15, 2015 . The parliament is the Løgting . On October 25, 2007, the seven Faroese constituencies (after the seven regions) were merged into a single electoral area.

Tinganes , the peninsula in the capital Tórshavn. State politics have been made here for over 1000 years.
We have had our own postage stamps since 1976. This one was designed by the artist Zacharias Heinesen and shows the flag of the Faroe Islands .
Coat of arms at the Faroese legation in Copenhagen

A high degree of autonomy was achieved with the law on internal self-government of March 31, 1948. The Faroe Islands fly their own flag and are considered a “nation within the imperial community with Denmark”.

With the Treaty of Fámjin on March 29, 2005, the Faroe Islands were given more powers in foreign policy. The Faroe Islands had had a diplomatic mission in London since January 2002 , but as a department of the Danish embassy. The Faroe Islands envoy in London is also a representative at the International Maritime Organization , a UN body based in London, of which the Faroe Islands are an associate member. Since October 2006 the Faroese representative in London has been accredited at the same time with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ireland and thus has another seat in the Danish embassy in Dublin . Since 2007 the Faroe Islands have also had an embassy in Reykjavík . Even before that, the Faroe Islands had their own representations in Brussels at the EU and in Copenhagen at the Nordic Council. The agency in Copenhagen is located in Nordatlantens Brygge , which is shared with Iceland and Greenland .

The 2005 Hoyvík Agreement established the Faroe Islands' economic union with Iceland . Greenland is also expected to join later. These three countries have been cooperating in the West Nordic Council since 1985 . In 2005 Prime Minister Eidesgaard announced that the Faroe Islands wanted to join the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). By 2010 at the latest, however, it became clear that this is not possible because the Faroe Islands are not a state.

In contrast to Denmark, the Faroe Islands are not a member of the EU or the Schengen area . You are represented in the Nordic Council . The 2007 Åland Document guarantees the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland equal membership in the Nordic Council. The Faroe Islands became an advisory member of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on November 17, 2007 .

There are influential groups who seek complete separation from Denmark. The balance of power in the Faroese party spectrum from separatist republicans to pro-Danish union supporters is relatively balanced. Coalitions to form the Faroese state government often include both camps.

State authority

The Færøernes Politi (for everyone. Løgregla ) is from Futi headed, he is also chief prosecutor. The official title of Fúti, who is a Danish civil servant, is Danish. Landfogeden på Færøerne . Police applicants are selected in the Faroe Islands themselves, but trained at the police school in Copenhagen .

The NATO operates in Mjørkadalur a radar -Frühwarnstation that the network of early warning systems around the northern Arctic Circle belongs. The Faroe Islands do not have their own military and their citizens are not subject to Danish military service . On the other hand, several Faroese serve as professional soldiers in the Danish armed forces .

The Færøernes Command (ISCOMFAROES) comprised the Danish military units responsible for the autonomous Faroe Islands . ISCOMFAROES was headed by the sea captain Christian A. Nørgaard. On October 31, 2012, the command was dissolved together with Grønlands Kommando in favor of the newly formed Arktisk Kommando (Arctic Command) based in Nuuk ( Greenland ).

Citizens' initiatives

The Faroese section of Amnesty International is important with around 1,200 members. It was founded in 1965 and is one of the oldest Amnesty groups in the world.



Transatlantic ferry Norröna in her home port of Tórshavn ; to the right behind the Smyril , the largest regional ferry in the country

In 1896 the first regular service between the Faroese Islands was set up with the steamship Smiril . In 1918 the first road was built in the Faroe Islands, connecting two places: Skopun and Sandur on Sandoy .

The most important international hubs of the Faroe Islands are the port of Tórshavn with the car ferry Norröna and the airport Vágar with the local airline Atlantic Airways . Both traffic centers have been linked by the Vágatunnilin since 2002, which shortens the journey time by car to one hour.

As a seafaring nation , the Faroe Islands have six lighthouses and their own fishing fleet . Most Faroese ships are of domestic production and have been flying the flag of the Faroe Islands on international waters since 1940 . The merchant navy has seven ships.

In addition, the Faroe boat is an example of how the Viking ship could be perfected as a small seaworthy rowboat .

The largest regional ferry is the Smyril , which runs between Tvøroyri and Tórshavn and thus connects the southernmost island of Suðuroy with the capital.

The road network of the Faroe Islands is almost entirely paved and, since 2004, has connected all regions that are located on islands on which there is more than one place. A total of 463 km of country roads have been built so far; the longest is road 10, it leads from the capital Tórshavn on Streymoy to Toftir on Eysturoy . In addition, there are around 500 km within the localities. Car ferries connect those islands to which no dams, bridges or tunnels lead, but places with a road network. Opened in 2006, Norðoyatunnilin connects the North Islands with the rest of the country. This means that 85% of the population have a fixed road connection with each other.

As an all-round vehicle, the pickup is popular with sheep farmers.

In 2002, over 22,000 vehicles were registered in the Faroe Islands, including more than 16,000 cars, which is almost exactly one car per household.

Local public transport is well developed. City buses, which can be recognized by their red color, run in Tórshavn. Intercity buses painted blue run between the villages. The helicopter flies where there are no buses or ferries (see: Vágar Airport ). The Faroe Islands route network can be found on the website of the state transport company Strandfaraskip Landsins .

In 2020, the Eysturoyartunnilin tunnel , the longest road tunnel to date at 11,238 meters, was opened to road traffic. After the Vágatunnilin (2002) and the Norðoyatunnilin (2006), the tunnel is the third submarine tunnel in the Faroe Islands. In the year it was opened, the Eysturoyartunnilin was also the largest structure in the Faroe Islands. One of the special features of the Y-shaped tunnel system is that it has three entrances. On the island of Eysturoy there are tunnel entrances in Strendur and in Runavík . The roads meet in a lake at the roundabout each other. From here the road continues to Hvítanes near the capital Tórshavn on Streymoy .


The Faroe Islands are one of the countries with the highest proportion of internet users in the world , after New Zealand , Iceland , Sweden and Malta . About 75% of Faroese are online at least once a week.

The around 17,000 households in the Faroe Islands had more than 11,000 Internet connections at the end of 2002 . At the end of 2004 there were around 24,000 landline connections and 36,000 cell phones . This means that 80% of all residents have a cell phone.

In 1905 the first telephone line was set up in the Faroe Islands. In 1930 all parts of the Faroe Islands were connected to the telephone network. After Suðuroy, there was initially only a radio link with the rest of the country. In 1953 Tórshavn got self-election, which was then introduced nationwide by 1978. From 1954 there was a radio link with Denmark. In 1971 the submarine cable to the Shetland Islands followed. Today the Faroe Islands are connected to the outside world by two fiber optic cables.

The telephone network has been fully digitized since 1998 and there is a nationwide GSM network for mobile telephony.

Supply of electrical energy

In 2014, 51% of the electricity used was generated with wind and hydropower. The most important energy supplier SEV put a wind farm into operation in 2015 in order to increase the share to 60% and would like to generate 100% of the electricity with renewable energies by 2030. To this end, an offshore wind farm is to be commissioned in 2025 . SEV operates six hydropower plants. A battery system was installed in 2016 to reduce fluctuations. A 261 kW photovoltaic system was inaugurated in Sumba in 2019 . In 2019, only 40% of the electricity was generated from renewable sources (13% from wind and 27% from hydropower), as 2019 was a particularly dry and windless year.



Important industries are fishing , fish farming (mostly salmon ) and tourism . Another factor in export are the shipyards and the postage stamps of Postverk Føroya . The fishing industry dominates with a share of around 95% of the export volume. The CD label Tutl and the wool fashion manufacturer Sirri are leaders in their respective international market niches.

The import in 2010 amounted to 4,365 billion crowns. The most important countries of origin are Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany. Imported goods are raw materials, consumer goods, ships and machines.

The export amounted to 4,639 billion crowns; Great Britain, Germany, Denmark and France lead the statistics.

What the Faroe Islands can produce for themselves, besides fishing, are just some agriculture (sheep, potatoes, etc.) and water power to generate electricity. All other goods are imported and thus financed by fishing.


Aquaculture for rearing salmon off Vestmanna
Deep sea trawler in the port of Tórshavn

The Faroe Islands fishing zone is 200 nautical miles. This is where most of the Faroese catch comes from. The situation in neighboring Iceland is similar in its waters. Both nations allow foreign fishing fleets only limited rights - with the exception of Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

In the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands are the fifth largest fishing nation. They are number 25 in the world. In 2005, the catch was 580,823 tons.

Over 100,000 tons of fish products are sold annually . In 2004 it was 135,244 tons worth 1.15 billion crowns. Compared to 1993, this was an increase in quantity of 90% and in value by 183%. Cod accounts for around 25% , followed by haddock and saithe .

There are fish factories all over the country. At the beginning of 2004 the fishing fleet consisted of 186 vessels over 20 GRT. Around 3,000 Faroese are employed in fishing and fish processing . That is around 12% of the working population. Fishery products make up around 95% of Faroese exports. If one adds services to the export volume, it is still 82%.

In addition to the deep-sea fishing, there are coastal fishing in typical Färöboot , for which a special device for line fishing , which Snella is used - a Faroese high-tech invention, which is also exported.

Oil exploration

In May 2004 the first international geological congress of the Faroe Islands took place on the islands , which among other things dealt with the development of the oil deposits located under the sea. Oil was seen as a great hope for the future of the Faroese economy. But after test drilling it turned out that a promotion does not make economic sense. Equinor gave up the office on the islands in 2015.


Traditional sheep breeding (70,000 animals) only plays a subordinate role in exports, while Faroese wool products traditionally enjoy a good reputation. Sheep meat is high on the local menu, around half of what is needed has to be imported.

In addition to the sheep, cattle, chickens and geese are kept. Accordingly, the Faroe Islands produce their own dairy products and eggs for the local market.


Killed whales in Sørvágur

The controversial pilot whale -fang is not commercially by the Faroese, but as a pure subsistence economy operated. Between 2001 and 2005, 41 schools of pilot whales were arrested and a total of 3359 animals were killed, which corresponds to an average catch of 672 pilot whales annually. The manner of driven hunts, which are carried out with motorized boats and now under the protection of the Danish Navy, is internationally condemned because it is considered to be cruel. Faroe Islands residents and members of the Danish Parliament describe the hunts as "traditional". Since the end of 2008, the health authorities have been advising not to consume pilot whale meat because it is unsuitable for human consumption due to the high concentration of toxins.


The number of overnight stays in hotels and guest houses in 2003 was as follows: 24,405 guests came from Germany (27.1%), 31,571 from Denmark, followed by Norway (11,104), Iceland (5253), Great Britain and Ireland (together 4820) and Germany (4149).

Standard of living

The Faroe Islands have an exemplary welfare state . The average standard of living is high, as is the level of education of the residents. Collective hourly wages 2004:

  • Worker 112.52 crowns
  • Craftsman 129.93 crowns
  • Office workers 137.63 crowns
  • Officials 175.44 crowns

There was full employment here until the mid-1980s . The Faroe Islands experienced an economic crisis in the late 1980s and early 1990s . Serious allegations have been made against the Danish state; but many believe that the Faroe Islands have lifted themselves through ambitious building projects. Between 2007 and 2009 there was again full employment in the Faroe Islands. At that time, the unemployment rate was 1.3%, the lowest in Europe outside the EU. However, since January 2009 it rose again and stood at 7.7% in April 2011 and by July 2013 it fell again to 4.4%.

The cost of living is at the Scandinavian level. The University of the Faroe Islands recommended a daily budget for meals of 100 kroner (plus accommodation) to foreign students for 2005, which corresponds to about 13.50 euros. However, this does not include means of transport, cultural events, visits to restaurants or books that most visitors might want to buy. A daily rate of 200 kroner (plus accommodation) therefore seems realistic for tourists.


Everyday culture

Faroese are known for their love for their own cars. A saying today about one's own compatriots is:

“Why does he need a raincoat? He has a car. "

The Faroe Islands have the fewest prison inmates per capita in the world, according to an international survey in 2007. There are only 15 prisoners for every 100,000 inhabitants (converted to 48,000 inhabitants, that makes about 7).

In 2006, the Faroe Islands made negative international headlines due to the sometimes open discrimination against homosexuals . Young gays and lesbians still often feel compelled to move to the more liberal mother country Denmark , as it is not possible for them to live their sexual orientation on the islands and to have corresponding life relationships without open rejection by the majority of the population.


The cuisine of the Faroe Islands is characterized by the remote location of the islands in the North Atlantic. Fish is more common in the diet, as is land-raised sheep. Even so, sheep meat has to be imported. The pilot whale is hunted non-commercially.

Restaurants are a rarity; you cater for yourself. Outside the Faroe Islands, there are only restaurants in Copenhagen and Aarhus with Faroese cuisine, which is aimed primarily at your own compatriots.

Exhibition of Faroese paintings in the dance hall of Norðurlandahúsið

Cultural business

The Faroe Islands are an independent cultural nation within the Nordic world . Due to the small population on the one hand and the requirements of a nation on the other, many Faroese have double and triple functions in society and are creative in their free time.

Therefore, the Faroe Islands have an astonishingly rich literary, artistic and musical production and an equally interested audience in their own culture. In addition to the native language, the determining factors are the legacy of the Vikings and the Faroese nature.

The cultural center is the capital Tórshavn and there the distinctive House of the North (Norðurlandahúsið) as the most important event location in the country, where there is also regular cultural exchange with other countries (mostly Nordic). Tórshavn is also home to the State Theater, the Music School and the Art Museum.

The national holiday and the largest folk festival with a sporting and cultural supporting program is Ólavsøka on 28/29. July. Other popular festivals are Jóansøka around June 24th, Varmakelda in late June / early July and Ovastevna in August. As with the Ólavsøka, the Faroese chain dances are maintained here and the regattas for the championships in Faroese rowing are held.

Chain dance and ballads

The Faroese chain dance with the old ballads performed for it (for example the Faroese Sigurdlieder ) are a cultural asset of the first order and stand alone in Europe. No other country was able to bring medieval customs to the modern age with such authenticity . The Faroese language had completely disappeared as a written language since the Reformation around 1540, and the uninterrupted ballads contributed significantly to the preservation of the language up to our time.

Jens Christian Djurhuus was a traditional skald who still wrote ballads according to old patterns in the 19th century. The most famous piece of all is Ormurin Langi and comes from Djurhuus' pen. Another recent example is the Grindavísan by Christian Pløyen , a Danish civil servant. Although by a foreigner and in Danish, it is part of every grindadráp (pilot whale hunt).

The Faroese chain dance by no means only takes place for folkloric performances, but is an integral part of everyday culture of our time. This means that a chain dance does not take place for an audience of spectators, but is a collective experience for all those present.

The Faroe Islands therefore also have a strong tradition of singing together. So it is common to spend hours singing old and new songs at family celebrations. The biggest such event is July 29 (Ólavsøka) at midnight in Tórshavn, when thousands gather in the open air.


Viking metal band Týr
Eivør Pálsdóttir on receiving the award for the best folk singer in Denmark 2006

The Faroe Islands have their own symphony orchestra , a well-known choir ( Havnarkórið ) and a very lively music scene in all genres, with some Faroese musicians drawing on their national ballad heritage and being able to go their own way. The most famous contemporary Faroese composers are Sunleif Rasmussen , Kristian Blak , Atli Petersen , Edvard Nyholm Debess and Heðin Meitil . The Summartónar festival for contemporary and classical music is held every summer . With Í Óðamansgarði ( In the crazy garden ) by Sunleif Rasmussen, the first Faroese opera was premiered on October 12, 2006 in the Nordlandhaus .

Classics of Faroese popular music are Annika Hoydal and Tey á Kamarinum . In the 21st century, soloists such as Eivør Pálsdóttir , Guðrið Hansdóttir , Teitur Lassen , Lena Anderssen , Linda Andrews , Guðrun Sólja Jacobsen , Høgni Lisberg , Petur Pólson , Brandur Enni and Heiðrik emerge.

Well-known rock groups (beyond the national borders) are among others. 200 (Punk), Boys in a Band (“Cowboy Rock”), Gestir , Makrel , Marius , Sic (Thrash Metal), Týr (Viking Metal) and the meanwhile disbanded groups Clickhaze (Avantgarde) and Moirae . Groups like Páll Finnur Páll or Villmennir have more of a local meaning.

Large open-air festivals for popular music with international and domestic stars include: the Jóansøka every June in alternating Vágur or Tvøroyri, the G! Festival in Gøta every July, the live program on the national holiday Ólavsøka in Tórshavn and the Summarfestivalur in Klaksvík every August. The Við Múrin Festival in Kirkjubøur will take place for the first time in 2009 .

The Prix ​​Føroyar , which takes place every two years, was the national talent competition until 2005, from which many stars have emerged who became known beyond the Faroe Islands. Today this event is called the Atlantic Music Event and is more focused on exporting Faroese music.

Kristian Blak has been a mentor to the emerging Faroese music scene for over 30 years. He is the head of the Yggdrasil jazz ensemble and founder of the self-managed record label Tutl , which publishes most of the aforementioned artists.


Due to the creation of the New Faroese written language by V. U. Hammershaimb and the linguistic work of Jakob Jakobsen , the Faroese literature emerged . The poetry of the classic Janus Djurhuus was style-defining for most of his successors, while his younger brother Hans A. Djurhuus lives on in the everyday life of all generations through his children's songs.

The world's best-known Faroese writer is William Heinesen , who himself only wrote in Danish . His cousin Jørgen-Frantz Jacobsen , who died very early , also wrote in Danish and became known in Germany through the novel Barbara . The first Faroese-speaking writer to be translated into many world languages ​​was Heinesen's good friend Heðin Brú .

Contemporary authors include: Jens Pauli Heinesen , Gunnar Hoydal , Jógvan Isaksen , Carl Jóhan Jensen , Hanus Kamban , Jóanes Nielsen , Rói Patursson and Tóroddur Poulsen .

Súsanna Helena Patursson founded the Faroe Islands women's literature. Malan Marnersdóttir is now the country's leading literary scholar. Oddvør Johansen is one of the most famous female authors today.

In the books Stjørnuakrar - Star Fields by Guðrið Helmsdal (2006, ISBN 3-86634-076-1 ) and (expanded) Frá Áarstovubrøðrunum til Tórodd - føroysk yrking í hundrað ár / From Djurhuus to Poulsen ISBN - Faroese poetry from 100 years (2007, Faroese poetry from 100 years 978-3-86703-546-0 ) the editor Paul Alfred Kleinert ) compiles for the first time an outline of the Faroese literary history in the German-speaking area.

Visual arts

Zacharias Heinesen : Úr Vágum ("From Vágar ") 2000. Postage stamp from 2001

Faroese visual arts did not emerge until the 20th century as a result of the national revival movement. Sámal Joensen Mikines is considered to be the most important Faroese painter and at the same time the "father of Faroese painting" , whose partner and wife Elinborg Lützen is considered the islands' first and most important graphic artist. Ruth Smith's self-portraits are counted among the most precious paintings in the country. The most important contemporary artists include Ingálvur av Reyni , who has also been represented at the State Art Museum in Copenhagen since 2004 , the graphic and textile artist Astrid Andreasen and Zacharias Heinesen , of whom one of the works has found its home in Germany: the altarpiece of the Danish Church from Husum (North Frisia). The country's first sculptor is Janus Kamban . Hans Pauli Olsen and Tróndur Patursson are the most prolific sculptors in the country today. The painter Bárður Jákupsson is the leading author on Faroese art.

The Faroe Islands Art Museum, Listasavn Føroya , houses the largest collection of Faroese artists.


Faroese high school graduates in national dress and with student hats

The Faroese education system is at a high, Scandinavian level. It is similar to the Danish school system, but is managed autonomously by the state government. The language of instruction is basically Faroese, which has been hard fought for over decades in the language dispute. The first educators who campaigned for Faroese as the general school language were Símun av Skarði , Jacob Dahl and Andrias Christian Evensen .

There are three high schools . The Tórshavner Gymnasium is the oldest and largest and is located in Hoydalar . The high school in Vágur supplies the island of Suðuroy, and that in Kambsdalur (with a branch in Klaksvík ) supplies the east and north of the country.

In addition to Faroese linguistics and literature, the University of the Faroe Islands also offers natural sciences and history and social sciences. There is also an educational college and a fishing college. The Faroe Islands adult education center plays an important role in the history of the country as well as in the everyday life of the population today. The National Library of the Faroe Islands forms the backbone of all current literature from the Faroe Islands and about the Faroe Islands .


Radio and television

The Faroe Islands have 13 VHF transmitters and one medium wave transmitter (531 kHz). There are three television broadcasting systems with 43 smaller repeater stations.

In the spring of 1957, the Faroese-language radio program of the public Útvarp Føroya (German: Radio Färöer) began broadcasting. The station focuses on information from politics, business and society. After there had only been one radio station for a long time, the private broadcaster Rás 2 (German: Kanal 2) went on air at the end of 1999 . In addition to information, he mainly plays a mixture of different styles of music. Shortly afterwards, in early 2000, the Christian broadcaster Lindin was added, which addresses Christian and social issues. At the end of 2013, VoxPop, the Faroe Islands' first hit radio, went into operation. It is aimed at the target group of under 35-year-olds and mainly plays current songs from the music charts . In spring 2014, the nostalgic radio station KissFM was added, which specializes in the music of the 1980s and 1990s and is intended to appeal to the middle generation of 35 to 55 year olds. All channels can also be received via a live stream on the Internet.

It was not until 1985 that television came to the Faroe Islands with Sjónvarp Føroya (SVF). In addition, mostly Danish TV channels are fed in. DVB-T has been available in the Faroe Islands since October 2002 .

Newspapers and news portals

The three most important newspapers in the Faroe Islands are Dimmalætting and Sosialurin from the capital Tórshavn and the weekly Norðlýsið from the North Island metropolis Klaksvík . While the former keep their complete internet editions only for subscribers, the Norðlýsið can be read by anyone who understands the language or just wants to enjoy the pictures. In addition to the live stream, Faroese radio also offers weekly text messages in English ( see the web links below ).

The most important news portal on the Internet is portal.fo .


Over 13,000 Faroese are counted as active in their sports clubs. In addition to football and rowing , indoor sports such as handball , volleyball and swimming are particularly popular in the Faroe Islands . Organized club sports are also practiced in the following disciplines: gymnastics , badminton , horse racing , table tennis , athletics and judo (each with over 100 active participants). The Faroe Islands are trying to get accepted into the IOC , but have so far only competed in the Paralympics ( Olympic team abbreviation: FRO). You are a regular participant in the biennial Island Games , where you achieved your best result to date in 2007 with 24 gold medals and second place in the medal table.


The rower Katrin Olsen was the first Faroese Olympic participant in history in 2008, albeit under the Dannebrog for Denmark.

The traditional national sport on the Faroe Islands is rowing in a typical Faroe boat . The annual highlight is the regattas on July 28 at Ólavsøka in Tórshavn . In this final regatta of the rowing season, the national champions are determined in six classes.

The most famous Faroese rower was Ove Joensen (1948–1987), who in 1986 rowed his Faroese boat Dana Victoria alone on the way to Copenhagen and in 1987 had an accident in his own boat.

The best-known rower is Katrin Olsen (* 1978), who appears for the Danish national team in international competitions and is the reigning runner-up in the 2006 quadruple scull world championship. In the double scull she is the overall World Cup winner 2007 with two golds. On August 31, 2007, she secured a place among the top six in the world at the World Rowing Championships in Munich , making her the first person from the Faroe Islands to qualify for the Olympic Games in Beijing .


The fótbóltur is also the most important thing in the world in the Faroe Islands.
Football pitch built into a fjord in the Faroe Islands

On May 13, 1892, TB Tvøroyri, the first football club in the Faroe Islands, was founded. HB Tórshavn and KÍ Klaksvík followed in 1904 as the most successful clubs and eternal rivals in the Effodeildin to this day . The national cup is dominated by HB alone. Other multiple masters are TB Tvøroyri, B36 Tórshavn , GÍ Gøta and B68 Toftir . Every larger town has a soccer field. Today the Faroe Islands have two stadiums for international matches with real turf: Tórsvøllur in the capital and Svangaskarð in Toftir.

The Faroe Islands have been a member of UEFA and FIFA since 1988 (FIFA abbreviation: FRO). The Faroe Islands have been known among European football fans since the historic 1-0 win over Austria in 1990 by Torkil Nielsen . The then national goalkeeper Jens Martin Knudsen is internationally known for his white wool hat, which he wears at every game.

In qualifying for EURO 2004 the Faroe Islands were in one group with Germany , in qualifying for EURO 2008 with World Champion Italy and Vice World Champion France . On June 2, 2007 the game in Tórshavn against world champions Italy ended 1: 2, which was seen as a big sensation by the Faroese national team . The goal was scored by Rógvi Jacobsen .

On October 11, 2008, the Faroe Islands scored 1-1 against Austria in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup and renewed the trauma suffered by the Austrians in 1990. On September 9, 2009, the Faroe Islands achieved a sensational 2-1 home win in the same group against the national team from Lithuania.

On November 14, 2014, the Faroe Islands created another sensation in qualifying for the 2016 European Football Championship , when they won a 1-0 victory over Greece. The goal was scored by Jóan Símun Edmundsson . The Greek Football Association subsequently split from national coach Claudio Ranieri . Nevertheless, Faroe Islands were able to repeat the sensation in the second leg with 2-1 on June 13, 2015.


Swimming pools throughout the country ensure good work for young people - also for people with disabilities.

The biggest Faroese swimming star has been the junior Pál Joensen (* 1990) from Vágur since his three-time European championship title . In 2008 he not only set the Faroese and Scandinavian records at the European Junior Championships on 800 m, but also a new European record for juniors. His achievements are considered to be the greatest sporting achievements in the history of the Faroe Islands.

At the Paralympics in Seoul in 1988 , the four women swimmers from the Faroe Islands won seven medals, including one in gold out of a total of twelve possible. Christina Næss also set a world record in the 100 m backstroke in class C3 and took silver in the 400 m freestyle. At the 1992 Paralympics in Barcelona , Tóra við Keldu was able to build on her own successes in Seoul and get silver again in the 100 m freestyle. The Sydney 2000 medal table again shows four medals for the Faroe Islands - all won by the Faroese swimmer Heidi Andreasen . In 2002 she was second in the election for World Sportswoman of the Year with a disability .


Elaborately carved female figure, early 18th century

Chess has a centuries-old tradition here, and early authors wrote in full appreciation of the skills of the local players, who lovingly carved their pieces and gave them their own names. The national chess championships are just as important as in Iceland. As of November 2020, Helgi Ziska is the strongest player on the islands and the first Faroese to be awarded the GM title.


Singer Eivør Pálsdóttir (* 1983) in front of the local museum in her home town of Gøta in Faroese costume
The bust Elinborg by Janus Kamban 1937 shows Elinborg Lützen as an 18-year-old. Later she became the most important graphic artist in the Faroe Islands.
Translated into various world languages: William Heinesen (1900–1991), writer, poet, painter and graphic artist
Jóannes Patursson (1866–1946), large farmer, national poet and politician

See also

Portal: Faroe Islands  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of Faroe Islands



  • Lucas Debes : Natural and Political History of the Faroe Islands. Copenhagen / Leipzig 1757.
    • New edition: commented and with an afterword by Norbert B. Vogt, Mülheim ad Ruhr 2000.
  • Carl Julian von Graba : Diary, kept on a trip to Farö in 1828. Perthes and Besser, Hamburg 1830.
    • New edition: Wolfgang Butt, Kiel 1993, ISBN 3-926099-26-7 (under the author's name: Carl Julian Graba)
Journey with the yacht Maria in 1854 to the Faroe Islands
  • Samuel Rathbone, EH Greig: A Narrative of the Cruise of the Yacht Maria among the Faroe Islands in the Summer of 1854. England 1855 (illustrated with lithographs; published anonymously at the time)
  • Ernst Krenn : Föroyar. The islands of peace. Regensbergsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Münster (Westphalia) around 1942.
  • Sydney Norgate: "Kanska" or the Land of Maybe. Jacobsen, Tórshavn 1943.
    • a German translation “Kanska” or the land of “maybe” appeared in TJALDUR, Mitteilungsblatt des DFF, issue 30, 2003, pp. 31–37.
  • John F. West: Faroe. The Emergence of a Nation. Hurst, London 1972, ISBN 0-8397-2063-7 .
  • Liv Kjørsvík Schei, Gunnie Moberg, illustrated by Tróndur Patursson : The Faroe Islands. Murray, London 1991, ISBN 0-7195-5009-2 .
Lopranseiði. The Isthmus of Lopra on its west coast
  • Sabine Gorsemann: The Faroe Islands. Island world in the North Atlantic. DuMont, Cologne 1990, ISBN 3-7701-2175-9 .
  • Alexander Wachter: Discover the Faroe Islands for yourself. Edition Elch, Offenbach am Main 2002, ISBN 3-85862-155-2 (travel guide with a focus on hiking tours).
  • Don Brandt: More stamps and history of the Faroe Islands. Postverk Føroya, Tórshavn 2006, ISBN 99918-3-192-4 .
  • Verena Stössinger, Anna Katharina Dömling (eds.): I know about islands ... stories from the Faroe Islands. Unionsverlag, Zurich 2006, ISBN 3-293-00366-4 (anthology with short author biographies and an afterword by the editors).
  • Paul Alfred Kleinert (Ed.): Frá Áarstovubrøðrunum til Tórodd - føroysk yrking í hundrað ár. From Djurhuus to Poulsen - Faroese poetry from 100 years (anthology with bio-bibliographical information and an outline of Faroese literary history, scientific advice: Turið Sigurðardóttir ), Leipzig 2007, ISBN 978-3-86703-546-0 .


  • Atlantic Rhapsody - 52 pictures from Tórshavn ( Faroese : Atlantic rapsodi - 52 myndir úr Tórshavn ), 1989 by Katrin Ottarsdóttir , first Faroese feature film in history
  • Bye Bye Bluebird , 1999 by Katrin Ottarsdóttir , first Faroese road movie
  • Faroe Islands - The discovery of loneliness , series North Sea Report (45 minutes) of NDR television on June 27, 2004, 6 p.m. Recordings on VHS and DVD are offered by the NDR.
  • Winter on the Faroe Islands by Sven Jaax (NDR 2002, 45 minutes).
  • Singing People by Malte Blockhaus and Philipp Achterberg (2009, 40 minutes)
  • Nordic sea birds by Clemens Keck, documentation about the bird world in the Faroe Islands. (2011, 45 minutes)

Web links

Commons : Faroe Islands  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Faroe Islands  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikisource: Faroe Islands  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. About the Faroe Islands - Language ( Memento from September 19, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  2. a b Matrikulstovan ( Memento from July 4, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), Matrikul.fo - exact survey 2006. Before that, the total area was given as 1,399 or 1,399.20 km².
  3. Fólkatalið vaks við 883 fólkum í fjør , hagstova.fo, February 13, 2019.
  4. Art. 355 para. 5, letter a TFEU.
  5. ^ The system of pan-Euro-Mediterranean cumulation , ec.europa.eu.
  6. Dansk Meteorologisk Institut (DMI.dk) ( Memento from June 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Climate diagram Denmark - Tórshavn
  8. http://www.dendrologi.dk/FaroeSkovIndledning.htm
  9. Andrias Højgaard, Jóhannes Johansen, Søren Ødum: Træplanting í í Føroyum eina Old - A century of tree-planting in the Faroe Islands . Ed .: Umhvørvisstovan. Føroya Fróðskaparfelag, Tórshavn 1989, Chapter 1, p. 7–10 ( online (PDF; 252 KiB) [accessed on January 23, 2016]).
  10. a b c Ricardo L. Palma, Jens-Kjeld Jensen: Lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) and their host associations in the Faroe Islands. 2005 ( online ; PDF; 123 kB)
  11. ^ Rosemary G. Gillespie, DA Clague: Encyclopedia of Islands. University Presses of Ca, 2009, ISBN 978-0-520-25649-1 , p. 292.
  12. BirdLife Important Bird Area: Faroe Islands
  13. David T. Parkin, Alan G. Knox: The Status of Birds in Britain and Ireland. Christopher Helm Verlag, 2009, ISBN 978-1-4081-2500-7 , p. 86.
  14. Falco columbarius in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011.1. Listed by: BirdLife International, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  15. James Proctor: Faroe Islands. 2008, ISBN 978-1-84162-224-8 , p. 5.
  16. The people of the Faroe Islands. Retrieved May 29, 2020 .
  17. Nú búgva 48.795 í Føroyum, vísa nýggj hagtøl , kvf.fo, June 15, 2015 (Faroese).
  18. On August 1, 2015, the population was 49,179: Fólkatalið farið upp around 49,000 , kvf.fo, September 16, 2015.
  19. portal.fo: 11% færri ungar kvinnur enn menn í Føroyum ( Memento from September 26, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (11% fewer young women than men in the Faroe Islands), June 4, 2007.
  20. ^ The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved September 8, 2017 .
  21. a b Fólkatalið January 1st var 48.660 , hagstova.fo, February 5th 2010.
  22. a b c Fólkatalið minkaði við 83 fólkum í 2012 , hagstova.fo, March 14, 2013.
  23. Fólkatalið øktist við 148 fólkum í 2013 , hagstova.fo, March 17, 2014.
  24. Broytingin í fólkatali í øllum bygdum og býum í 25 ár , hagstova.fo, May 13, 2015.
  25. Fleiri velja Føroyar , in.fo, Feb. 12, 2016.
  26. Fólkavøkstur flestastaðni - tó minking í fleiri bygdum , hagstova.fo, Feb. 15, 2017.
  27. Fólkatalið vaks við 676 í fjør og var 50.498 við ársbyrjan 2018 , hagstova.fo, Feb. 12, 2018.
  28. Fólkatalið vaks við 883 fólkum í fjør , hagstova.fo, February 13, 2019.
  29. Parishes (2000-2017) Statistics Faroe Islands (English), accessed June 27, 2018
  30. Official statistics of the religious community for the year 2010 ( Memento from September 25, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  31. https://katolsk.fo/katolska-kirkjan-i-foroyum/ (Faroese, accessed on March 17, 2021).
  32. Martin Tamcke: Religion on the Faroe Islands ( Memento from February 10, 2013 in the web archive archive.today )
  33. Native people surprised Vikings on the Faroe Islands , in: Spiegel online, September 9, 2013.
  34. Statistics Faroe Islands, Faroe Islands in figures 2012, Argir 2012, ISSN  1603-8479 , p. 6 (PDF)
  35. ^ The Faroes and the EU - possibilities and challenges in a future relationship . The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Faroes. S. 53. 2010. Archived from the original on August 23, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2016: “Under its constitutional status the Faroes cannot become an independent Contracting Party to the EEA Agreement due to the fact that the Faroes are not a state . "
  36. a b Giant underwater 'jellyfish' roundabout becomes latest Faroe Islands tourist attraction. December 8, 2020, accessed December 25, 2020 .
  37. a b Energy - Faroese Energy. In: www.faroeislands.fo> Economy & Business> Energy. The Government of the Faroe Islands, accessed on January 27, 2021 (English, information on energy supply 2014/2015 in the SEV video “A Greener future” from 1:30).
  38. Offshore wind power. In: www.sev.fo. SEV, accessed on January 27, 2021 (English).
  39. a b Annual Report 2019. In: Reports. SEV, April 24, 2020, accessed on January 27, 2021 (English).
  40. Sumba solar power plant. In: www.sev.fo. SEV, accessed January 27, 2021 .
  41. ^ Oil in the Faroe Islands: mirage or miracle? The Local Dk, June 21, 2018, accessed February 5, 2021 .
  42. Ulrich Karlowski, Ulrike Kirsch: The Faroe Islands Health Authority urgently advises against eating pilot whale meat! Dolphin Rescue Society, November 30, 2008, accessed July 30, 2018 .
  43. Hagstova Føroya - Arbeiðsloysið apr. 2011 (Faroese) ( Memento from August 3, 2012 in the web archive archive.today )
  44. Hagstova Føroya - Arbeiðsloysið July 2013 (Faroese) .
  45. Portal.fo: Føroyingar skikka sær best (Faroese perform best), February 23, 2007 ( Memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  46. Hitradio reaches the Faroe Islands. In: faeroeer.eu. German-Faroese Circle of Friends (DFF) eV, April 2, 2014, accessed on June 13, 2014 .
  47. Report on orf.at ( Memento from July 14, 2012 in the web archive archive.today )
  48. de.fifa.com
  49. Journey with the yacht Maria 1854 to the Faroe Islands on Wikisource .
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on June 8, 2004 in this version .

Coordinates: 61 ° 58 ′  N , 6 ° 51 ′  W