Faroe Islands

 

Map of Faroe IslandsFlag of Faroe Islands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Brendan and his monks sailed past a couple of islands in the 6th century that they named the Island of Sheep and the Paradise of Birds, and modern day historians have speculated that both islands were in the Faroe Islands. The Paradise of Birds may well have been Mykines, the Faroes' westernmost island, which has an unusually dense bird population. The first human settlers were Irish monks, who did not arrive till late in the 6th century. They were no doubt seeking pagans whose souls they could save, or places where they could live in peaceful devotion. Little information remains about their stay, but it's likely that the herds of sheep that the Norse found there in the 9th century originated from hardy stock the Irish brought with them. Like those who settled Iceland, the first Norse to arrive in the Faroe Islands were simple farmers and pastoralists looking for a peaceful place free of the ravages of pirates and tyrants on the mainland.

 

According to the Færinga Saga, written in Iceland during the 13th century, the Faroe Islands converted to Christianity around 1000 and became a constitutional part of the Kingdom of Norway in 1035. Norway was formally joined to the Kingdom of Denmark in 1380, and the Faroe Islands adopted a Danish system of law and justice. From very early on, the government of the Faroe Islands lay in the Alping or 'People's Assembly', but after 1380 parliament ceased and the Alping became little more than a royal court. In 1655, the Danish government presented the Faroe Islands to Christoffer von Gabel as a personal feudal estate. The oppressive rule of both Gabel and his son, Frederick, brought exploitation and hardship to the islanders, and in 1709 the government relieved the von Gabels of the islands.

 

In 1849 the Danish legislature officially incorporated the Faroe Islands into Denmark, giving the islands two seats in the House, but by the 1890s, many Faroese were clamouring for home rule. Unfortunately, it came to nothing. The British occupied the islands during WWII in order to secure the crucial North Atlantic shipping lanes and to prevent the islands from following the rest of Denmark into German hands. Some Faroese wanted to take the opportunity to declare complete independence, but in 1948 Denmark passed the Act on Faroese Home Rule. The islands' official status changed from 'County of Denmark' to 'self-governing community within the Kingdom of Denmark'.

 

When Denmark joined the European Community, the Faroe Islands refused to follow suit, mainly over the vexed issue of the 322 km (200 mile) exclusion limit. The islands adopted their own flag, Føroyskt (Faroese) was declared the official language (although children must learn Danish at school) and the Løgtig, previously a county council, assumed the functions of a legislative body. The Faroese oversaw their own affairs inasmuch as their decisions did not affect Denmark. Denmark still retained control of and responsibility for insurance and banking, defence, foreign relations and justice, and provided an annual grant of about 110.000.000,-- for the privilege.

 

Ten years after a serious recession in the early 1990s that saw significant emigration to Denmark, the economy perked up with the return to profitability of the cod fisheries. Unemployment dropped, the population began to rise again and slow moves toward independence received a kick-start after a referendum in 2001.

 

 

Capital:                      Tórshavn

Government:              self-governing territory in the Kingdom of Denmark

Area:                         1.399 km²

Population:                 48.317 (2006)

Currency:                   Faroese króna (100 oyrur)

Internet TLD:             .fo

Dialling code:             +298

 

Member of:                International Maritime Organization (associated member)

 

 

 

Links

 

Faroe Islands in Wikipedia.

Flag of Faroe Islands in Flags of the World.

The website of the Philatelic Service.

Country description from the BBC.

Country description from the CIA.

Official website of the prime minister of the Faroe Islands.

 

 

 

Stamp catalogue

 

International Year of the Child

date:                  1 October 1979

designers:           1: Edel Davidsen (8 years), Czeslaw Slania (engraver)

                          2: Rasmus Fossá (7 years), Czeslaw Slania (engraver)

                          3: Snorri Petersen (8 years), Czeslaw Slania (engraver)

printer:               Post Denmark, Copenhagen

perforated:         12¼:11¾

remark:              stamps depict children's drawings

 

1     110              girl in festive costume, IYC emblem

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 45/SG 44/Yvert 39)

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

2     150              man in a boat fishing, IYC emblem

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 46/SG 45/Yvert 40)

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

3     200              two boys, IYC emblem

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 47/SG 46/Yvert 41)

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

 

Amnesty International 25th anniversary

date:                  2 July 1986

designers:           4: Olivur viđ Neyst

                          5: Eli Smith

                          6: Rannvá Kunoy

printer:               Post Denmark, Copenhagen

perforated:         13¾:13¼ (4 and 6), 13¼:13¾ (5)

remark:              stamps depict paintings

 

4     300              peace doves behind bars and free in the air, AI emblem, text "AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 1961-'86"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 136/SG 133/Yvert 130)

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

5     470              faces of prisoners, AI emblem, text "AMNESTY / INTERNATIONAL 1961-'86"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 137/SG 134/Yvert 131)

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

6     550              family visiting a prisoner, AI emblem, text "AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 1961-'86"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 138/SG 135/Yvert 132)

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

 

International Year of the Ocean

date:                  18 May 1998

designer:            Edward Fuglø

printer:               Post Denmark, Copenhagen

perforated:         14½:14

remark:              the stamps are issued in 1998 but have the year 1997 on the stamp edge; stamps depict a painting of

                          whales and dolphins swimming on the left and a single animal on the right

 

7     400              Atlantic White-sided Dolphin, IYO emblem, text "Skjórutur springari / Lagenorhynchus acutus"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 334/SG 342/Yvert 330)

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

8     450              Orca (Killer whale), IYO emblem, text "Bóghvítuhvalur / Orcinus orca"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 335/SG 343/Yvert 331)

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

9     700              Common Bottlenose Dolphin, IYO emblem, text "Hvessingur / Tursiops truncatus"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 336/SG 344/Yvert 332)

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

10    900              Beluga (White Whale), IYO emblem, text "Hvítfiskur / Delphinapterus leucas"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 337/SG 345/Yvert 333)

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

 

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 50th anniversary

date:                  18 May 1998

designer:            Clive Abbott

printer:               Post Denmark, Copenhagen

perforated:         14½:14¾

 

11    750              family between protecting hands, HR jubilee emblem, text "Mannarættindi Human Rights"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 340/SG 348/Yvert 336)

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

 

International Year of Astronomy

date:                  25 May 2009

designer:            Edward Fuglø

printer:               Post Denmark, Copenhagen

perforated:         13:12½

 

12    10 KR           Saturn over rock, Europa emblem

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 675/SG /Yvert )

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

13    12 KR           Jupiter over rock, Europa emblem

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 676/SG /Yvert )

 

Faroe Islands - stamp as described above

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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last revised: 13 August 2009