The Faroe Islands lie roughly half way between Scotland and Iceland
and are not, perhaps, the obvious location for an FSG member to go for a holiday or even a short break. I went for six days in July 2006 and was blessed with four wonderful sunny days and found glorious scenery, delightful small villages and hamlets, birds and yes, fortifications!
The capital of the Faroe Islands is the small town of Thorshavn (pop. 14,000) which is situated on the south eastern shore of the island of Streymoy. The Islands have been Danish since the C13th but no attempt was made then to fortify the main settlement at Thorshavn. In fact, there is only one small fort on the islands and that is Skansin Fort, overlooking Thorshavn harbour.
Built in 1579 by Magnus Heinason who had the trade monopoly between the Islands and Denmark, it was originally designed to prevent pirates and smugglers upsetting the monopoly trade. In 1677 Thorshavn was attacked by the French, with whom Denmark was at war, and Skansin Fort was destroyed. It was not rebuilt until 1780. The rebuilt fort was armed with 21 guns and had a garrison of 40 men until 1865 when the fort was vacated by the army. It was then converted into a civil prison and the garrison re-enlisted as a civil police force.
Author: Bill Clements
Article and Image Source: http://www.fsgfort.com
Keywords: Fortifications, Faroe Islands