The capital of Faroe Islands is Torshavn and it is one of the world’s smallest capitals. The name Torshavn means Thor’s harbor and is as a result of the town being named after Thor, the god of thunder of the Norsemen. The city is located on the southeast coast of Streymoy. It is also at the foot of mount Húsareyn to the northwest and Kirkjubøreyn to the southwest. Torshavn became capital of Faroe Island in AD 850 when the Norsemen established their parliament in Tinganes peninsula, a place in Torshavn.

According to the UN data of 2016, Faroe Island has been estimated to hold a population of around 49,994. Out of this, Torshavn accommodates about 18,674 inhabitants which make about one-fourth of the total population. The metropolitan area has a population of 12, 713. This means that it the largest town in Faroe Island. Klaksvík comes in second with a significantly smaller population of 4,817 people followed by Runavík with a population of 3,832.

Torshavn is home to a variety of museums and great attractions. The period between June and September is considered to be the best time for touring the capital. Among the attractions is the Faroese Museum of History where artifacts from the age of the Vikings to the middle ages are exhibited. A tiny botanical garden with about 150 Faroese plants also makes up the museum. The valley of Saksun is another tourist attraction more popular with birdwatchers and cyclists due to the impressive narrow roads and the richness of bird life. Another common attraction is the Nordic House. It is one of the best examples of contemporary Nordic architecture and often holds art galleries in Torshavn. Other attractions include the Saga Museum, Viking farmstead, Torshavn harbor, Fort Skansin, Torshavn Cathedral, Gasadalur waterfall, and the Faroese art museum.

Torshavn is characterized by a subpolar oceanic climate with frequent cloudy skies. Globally, it is one of the cloudiest places receiving about 2.4 hours of sunshine in a day. The average temperature in the summer averages about 12 degrees Celsius while the average temperature during the winter is around 6 degrees Celsius. Owing to the cloudy skies and absence of ice in the water bodies around Torshavn, low temperatures in the winter season are not as severe for such a northerly position. August is the warmest month of the year with a mean temperature of 11.0 degrees Celsius. The month of February has the lowest average temperatures in the year at around 3.5 degrees Celsius. On average, monthly rainfall is at its maximum during fall and winter and highest in January as a result of numerous, powerful storms passing through the region from the North Atlantic Ocean. May and June are significantly drier periods.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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