Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

Life is funny sometimes. For the longest time I didn't have any postcards of the Faroe Islands. Then I bought a pack from ebay, but didn't think I'd ever actually receive a written and stamped postcard from there. ...and then last week I received two! One of them I was actually expecting as I had managed to reserve a seat in a Faroe Islands group in the 'Vacation RR' on the Postcrossing forum, but the first one (and the one you can see in this post) I received was a complete, total surprise. It's from my friend Johanna from her holiday. She's been to some pretty exotic places: Greenland, Mongolia... and now the Faroe Islands!

Tórshavn is the capital and largest town of the Faroe Islands. It is located in the southern part on the east coast of Streymoy. To the north west of the town lies the 347-metre high mountain Húsareyn, and to the southwest, the 350-metre high Kirkjubøreyn. The city proper has a population of 13,000 (2008), and the greater urban area a population of 19,000.

The Vikings established their parliament on the Tinganes peninsula in 850 CE, thus Tórshavn was made capital of Faroe Islands and has remained so ever since. All through the Middle Ages the narrow peninsula jutting out into the sea made up the main part of Tórshavn. Sources do not mention a built-up area in Tórshavn until after the Protestant Reformation in 1539. Early on, Tórshavn became the center of the monopoly trade, thereby being the only legal place for the islanders to sell and buy goods. In 1856, the trade monopoly was abolished and the islands were left open to free trade. The town has grown rapidly ever since the turn of the 20th century into the undisputed administrative, economic and cultural center of the Faroes.

...and Johanna found me the new Faroese Europa stamp! *squeee*

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