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Torshavn is the magnificent capital of the Faroe Islands, which is situated on the east coast of the island of Streymoy. The legacy of this beautiful coastal town as the centre of Faroe Islands culture has been in place since 850 AD. The Viking settlers who expanded from the shores of Norway made the main peninsula of Torshavn, the Tinganes, the site of their parliament. For centuries, this vibrant town has been instrumental in the culture, commerce and history of the Faroe Islands, making it not just a unique port, but one which is guaranteed to intrigue cruisers looking for something different.
The township itself is a postcard perfect location, with marinas and waterfronts filled with boats all shapes and sizes piled up upon the shore. Fairy tale spires of churches and chapels stud the landscape from the midst of wooden houses with radiantly coloured facades, ranging from the brightest red, to a lustrous purple. With an atmosphere of abundant charm, but still plenty of culture to delve into, Torshavn is a unique port which deserves to be explored.
The Faroese Museum of Natural History
Run by the Ministry of Education, Research and Culture, this institution has been a fantastic force in researching, cataloguing and advertising to the local public the natural wonders that are typical of the Faroe Islands. Interesting and unique exhibits are a mainstay of the museum's gallery, including artifacts of the whale hunting tradition that once dominated the island such as ancient harpoons. Inside the gallery are skeletons of various fish species, interactive pieces which detail prehistoric ancestors to the local whales, and even Viking weaponry.
The site of the first Viking parliament on the Faroe Islands has remained Torshavn's main seat of power for centuries, one of the oldest parts of the township; the small wooden houses that stand upon this rocky outcrop have existed in their current form for over 500 years. The ancestral buildings have been converted in the last century to house the prime minister of the Faroe Islands, continuing the legacy that the Viking started. For an amazing look at the heart of the storied history that has defined the island for its entire existence, make sure to head here.
The Nordic House
This is one of the most important cultural sites in the whole of the Faroe Islands, and also one of the finest institutions. Host to countless cultural and festive events throughout the decades, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest examples of modern Nordic architecture, the Nordic House hosts art festivals, music concerts and Inter-Nordic cultural events throughout the year. Its highlights include a huge amphitheatre, and a great hall fitted with varnished wood that will astonish any cruiser.
For fantastic designer clothing created from organic, dye-free wool and local sheepskins, head to Sirri, which sells sophisticated garments of the highest quality. For delicious local confectionery and freshly baked pastries, make a stop at Frants Restorff.
Glitnir is a culinary delight that no foodie should miss out on. A chic modern interior is home to an exquisite menu offering gourmet dishes and unusual deserts, such as gin sorbet and sautéed crayfish. For an altogether more traditional affair, head to Toscana, which is an Italian restaurant with a knack for serving up creative meat dishes.
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