Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Faroe or Faroer Islands, a group of 22 members in the Northern Ocean between Iceland and Shetland (lat. 61 25' to 62 25' N., long. 6 to 8 W.). They belong to Denmark, and have an area of 500 square miles, 17 of the number being inhabited. Though rising steeply to a height of two or three thousand feet, they are tolerably fertile, producing heavy crops of barley, turnips, and potatoes, and affording pasturage to thousands of sheep, but there is no timber. Immense flocks of sea-birds furnish feathers and eider-down for exportation, and fish is abundant on the coast. The chief of the group is Stromoe, on which is situated the capital, Thorshaven, the residence of the amtmann or governor. Coal, opals, and other valuable minerals are found, especially in Seideroe. The Danes and other Scandinavian navigators draw their meridian through this spot. England occupied the islands from 1807 until the peace of 1814. The present inhabitants of the archipelago are almost exclusively of Norwegian origin, and the Fdriska, or current speech, is a Norse dialect, while the official language is Danish. The natives are mostly descended from fugitives and sea-rovers, who arrived in the 9th century, and, like them, are still distinguished by their tall, muscular frames, physical strength, and longevity. Notwithstanding a severe and even stern outward expression, in harmony with their rugged environment, they are extremely kind-hearted and hospitable. They are occupied chiefly with fishing and pasturage, and the fine fleece of their flocks yields the raw material for a lucrative home industry.