Foroyar National Museum - part I

Torshavn Travel Blog

 › entry 17 of 28 › view all entries
FIshermen were clad in woolen home made clothing but, when it rained "rodklaedir" leather oiled skin clothers were donned. At the turn of the century then had begin to wear linen over clothes that had been varnished for water protection.

The bus came shortly and I was headed back. I told the bus driver of my plan and asked him where the best place to get off would be. He offered to stop in a special place that would be closer than a stop. He seemed concerned that would have to walk farther in the rain. Again, the kindness here is amazing.

 

He left me off and gave me directions down a path and up a hill. I followed it and found the museum easily. It’s a nice and rather new building with a great view out to Nolsoy and the Atlantic.

 

I went inside and took my rain jacket off in the vestibule as it was soaking wet. There were many kids here. Actually it seemed to be all kids. I went to the reception desk and waited for someone to come….no one. I looked through their books for sale……no one. I decided to take a toilet break. I came back ….no one.

The Faroese boatbuilder didn't use any models or drawings, just prefixed measurements for the projecting part of the bow, the sheer, the tholepins, and some other small items, the boat was thereafter built according to the boatbuilder's instruction.
So, I decided to just start looking around.

 

I looked through the first section showcasing their history of fishing clothes. There was an unusual shirt and pants made of oiled skins.

 

I looked around, again, and finally a man looked at me.  I went over to him and asked him about paying. He told me that the museum was closed, this week. They were conducting special classes for children. He then told me that I was welcome to look around and at no charge, another very nice person.

 

I continued in the section on the fishing industry in Foroyar. There were many old pictures showing boat building and even 2 examples of boats of Foroyar design.

 

The next section showed the two previous flags that were used to represent Foroyar.

Used in the late 19th and early 20th century, various flags were used before Merkid, the current flag. This was an expression of the emergence of the Faroese National Movement.
One had a sheep on it and the other, an oyster catcher (bird). They were used in the late 19th and early 20th century, before the creation of Merkid (The name of the current flag).

 

There were some old navigation tools and many pictures of the fishing villages during the early 20th century.

 

There is one really cool old pic that shows salt fish lying out to dry on a huge open field.

 

There were some old knives and their sheaths, made from exotic woods.

 

There were many ancient artifacts showing the creation and usage of rune stones. There were also “ring head pins” found exclusively in the Western Viking world.

 

There were the most decorative paddle looking things with creative handles and then what looks like a rolling pin.

Saltfish drying on an open field, early 20th century.
This turns out to be the Viking equivalent of an iron, believe it or not.

 

The section showing information about the wrecks within their waters was very interesting. It seems that the biggest of them and the most valuable was a Dutch-East Indianman “Walcheren”. It wrecked in Kvivk on Streymoy in 1667 on its way back from Java. A part of the ship sank at Mykines. Some of the items salvaged still smell of pepper, thus telling us about its cargo.

 

There is an exhibit concerning the sheep of Little Dimon. Around 1600, Foroyar was subject to massive sheep deaths for an undetermined reason. To replace these, they brought in sheep from Iceland, the Shetland and Orkney Islands. The result of this created a unique species of sheep. During the mid to late 1800’s they entire population was killed, effectively causing their extinction.

Ringhead pins with plain ring and faceted head with a knot and cross motif almost exclusive are found in the Western Part of the Viking world. These are likely 10th century.

 

There was a beautiful quilt with twelve panels showing the great Faereyinga Saga. It was created by two women from Sandur on the island of Sandoy in 1963.

 

Lastly there is a simple wooden cross but it is very special. As Nordic societies were pagan from the earliest of times and Christianity was heard about in around 1000 and the decision was made to convert in 1024, they have a cross from Leirvik that is dated to the 12th century. Similar crossed were found in Norse settlements in Greenland. With that, this cross is the oldest known example of this type.

 

I say lastly but I had expected more.

Made by two women from Sandur in 1963, this quilt tells the story of the Faereyinga Saga.
I had expected come fantastic religious fittings from Kirkjubour (pew ends and a desk) and a whole section showcasing the national clothing worn, then and now.

 

I asked the curator about the two sections that were behind the locked door with artifacts from Kirkjubour and the textiles. He told me that he would be working tomorrow and would gladly open it and make it available to me. He said that he would be there beginning at 10:00 and I could come any time, after. I thanked him for offering and told him that I would be there between 10:30 and 11:00.

 

I left, in the rain, and headed up to one of the city bus stops. From the suggestion of the Bradt guide, I missed the bus that I needed. They tell you to take a 100 or 200, the city busses are 1, 2, or 3.

Wall painting from Quillinsgardur - Torshavn (early 1700s)showing forts on Stangames and Tinganes. There are more paintings at Quillinsgardur that have yet to be uncovered.
The 2 or 3 will take you from downtown into this area. So, I walked for a bit and the rain got worse, I finally gave up as my knee was hurting from earlier today. I sought refuge at one of the stops and swore I would get on any bus that came along. Fortunately, the bus that came would be me to within a few blocks of the guesthouse….yeah!

 

At the guesthouse, I did my usual and watched a bit of tv. I was going no where else on this miserable night. It was warm and dry and I had much to write about my day.

 

It had been another great one with the nature of Foroyar and the kindness of man. How about that!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
FIshermen were clad in woolen home…
FIshermen were clad in woolen hom…
The Faroese boatbuilder didnt use…
The Faroese boatbuilder didn't us…
Used in the late 19th and early 20…
Used in the late 19th and early 2…
Saltfish drying on an open field, …
Saltfish drying on an open field,…
Ringhead pins with plain ring and …
Ringhead pins with plain ring and…
Made by two women from Sandur in 1…
Made by two women from Sandur in …
Wall painting from Quillinsgardur …
Wall painting from Quillinsgardur…
Typical boat of Faroese design
Typical boat of Faroese design
Early flag of Foroyar featuring th…
Early flag of Foroyar featuring t…
Early sextant in wooden case
Early sextant in wooden case
Late 19th century Foroyar
Late 19th century Foroyar
Faroese port in early 20th century
Faroese port in early 20th century
Wreck near Streymoy, early 20th ce…
Wreck near Streymoy, early 20th c…
Fishing vessel - full of fish. I b…
Fishing vessel - full of fish. I …
Handmade knives and sheaths crafte…
Handmade knives and sheaths craft…
Runestone from Kirkjubour - found …
Runestone from Kirkjubour - found…
beautifully carved early ironing s…
beautifully carved early ironing …
Dutch East Indiamen - Walcheren, w…
Dutch East Indiamen - Walcheren, …
Many items recovered from Dutch wr…
Many items recovered from Dutch w…
Decorative woodwork from Walcheren…
Decorative woodwork from Walchere…
Extinct sheep of Litla Dimun
Extinct sheep of Litla Dimun
9th century wooden cross - Leirvik…
9th century wooden cross - Leirvi…
Dutch tiles from a wreck off the c…
Dutch tiles from a wreck off the …
Old painting of Torshavn
Old painting of Torshavn
Costume from late 1800s.
Costume from late 1800s.
816 years of change for habour at …
816 years of change for habour at…
Torshavn
photo by: davidx