Kirkjubøur, Streymoy

The history of the Faroe Islands starts at Kirkjubøur, on the southern part of Streymoy. Here, the Catholic church established a diocese under the bishop in Lund in 1111. The present church, Ólavskirkja, is the oldest church on the Faroe Islands, constructed in 12th century. The church was renovated in 1966-1967 when its appearance before 1874 was reestablished. The wonderful alter piece has been painted by Sámal Joensen-Mikines, and Tróndur Patursson has decorated the entrance to the church yard with stained-glass.

Close to the church you find the ruins of the Magnus Cathedral from the 13th century, and the Brandanus church. Finally, the bishop housing close to the churches was handed over to the king in connection with the Reformation in 1538, and since 1557, it has been inhabited by the Patursson family (17th generation today). By the way, Tróndur Patursson, the artist, lives in a beautiful house shortly before and above Kirkjubøur.

Those of you who have seen the Danish movie, Barbara, from 1997 by Nils Malmros, and based on the novel Barbara from 1939, by the faroese author Jørgen-Frantz Jacobsen, might remember the scene, where the priest was transported back in a typical Faroese boat in a rising storm, with Jens Okking as the “captain”. They landed the boat at Kirkjubø. Among the settings are also Thórshavn’s old town on Tinganes, Hoyvík, Saksun and Koltur.