10 Facts You Should Know About The Faroe Islands

Here’s a list of 10 significant facts you should know about the Faroe Islands:

10. The Faroe Islands are an archipelago located in the North Atlantic Ocean, at almost equal distance between Norway and Iceland. The islands are part of the Kingdom of Denmark but have autonomous status since 1948.

Picturesque natural landscape in the Faroe Islands. Image source: www.unsplash.com

9. With an area of 1,400 square kilometres and a population of roughly 50,000 people, it is one of the most smallest nations in the world. Tórshavn, the capital city, is located on the Streymoy island, and is the country’s most populous city, with 19,000 permanent residents.

Panoramic view of Tórshavn. Image source: www.pixabay.com

8. The Faroe Islands had been initially settled by Celtic populations (namely Irish hermit monks) prior to the arrival of the Norwegian Vikings during the early Middle Ages. Subsequently, the Norwegian Vikings also brought thralls to the Faroes as it would eventually be the case of Iceland as well.

7. The Faroese language is one of the least spoken Germanic languages in the world. Nonetheless, it is also one of the two most conservative and closely related to Old Norse (on par with Icelandic), from which it was derived. In 2015, there were approximately 70,000 native speakers of Faroese worldwide.

6. Danish is universally known and spoken, aside from Faroese. English is widely understood as well.

5. Niels Ryberg Finsen was the first Scandinavian to win the Nobel prize. He was born in Tórshavn in 1860 and to this date is the country’s only Nobel prize laureate. He won the Nobel prize for Medicine and Physiology in 1903.

4. On an annual basis, the Tórshavn Jazz Festival attracts many musicians from all around Europe and North America. It was held in the country’s capital city since 1983, and it usually takes place in August.

3. The most closest related language to Faroese is Icelandic, also a North Germanic language. Additionally, the western dialects of Norwegian are sometimes considered quite close to Faroese.

2. The national football team of the Faroe Islands, although mostly modest in results, managed to win against some tough sides. In 1990 they won their first match against Austria. In 2002 they were leading Scotland 2-0, but the encounter eventually ended in a draw (2-2). During the EURO 2016 qualifiers, they managed to beat Greece twice — with only one goal difference (1-0) — both home and away.

1. The weather is so shifty in the Faroe Islands that the Faroese have a saying for this: ‘If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.’

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