Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Hometown...

The town of Sandavágur lies on the south coast of the Faroese island of Vagar, and has been voted the most well-kept village in the Faroes. The name Sandavágur means sandy creek and refers to the beach down by the inlet. From one point in Sandavágur you can get a view of all the southern islands in the Faroes.

The rune stone

Runen Stone in SandavágurStamp FR 59 of the Faroe IslandsEngraver: Max MüllerIssued: 19 October 1981
Runen Stone in Sandavágur
Stamp FR 59 of the Faroe Islands
Engraver: Max Müller
Issued: 19 October 1981

The town has an ancient history. A thirteenth century rune stone, discovered in 1917, bears an inscription stating that the Norwegian Viking Torkil Onandarson from Rogaland was the first settler in this area. The stone can be seen in Sandavágur Church. Excavations in the town have also uncovered ruins from the Middle Ages.

Á Steig

Á Steig in Sandavágur was the residence of the Lagman, the lawspeaker and leader of the Faroese parliament, until 1816, when the office was abolished and the islands became a Danish administrative district. The clergyman V. U. Hammershaimb, who was born in Sandavágur in 1819 and became the father of the Faroese written language, was the son of the last law speaker.

Witch’s finger

There is a freestanding rock to the east of the town called Trollkonufingur, which means Witch’s finger. It is said to have been climbed only once, and the story goes like this:

Frederick VIII of Denmark visited the Faroe Islands in 1844, and a man climbed the Witch’s finger so that he could wave to the King as he sailed past. Later, when the man had come down, he realized that he had left one of his gloves on the top of the rock, so decided to climb it again. On his way to the top he fell and died.

Sandavágur Church

The beautiful red-roofed Church has a distinctive architecture and was built in 1917. A memorial was erected outside the church to one of the many ships that were sunk during the Second World War.

Vestanstevna

Sandavagur takes turns in hosting a civic festival called Vestanstevna which takes place annually at the beginning of July. The other participating villages are, Midvagur and Sorvagur. The festival is similar to Olavsøka in Torshavn but smaller.

Industry

Kovin, the canning factory in Sandavágur produces canned fish products: primarily shrimp, but also roe and normal fish meat. It also produces various kinds of pâté, for example from salmon, shrimps and tuna.

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