Tinganes - A thousand years in Tórshavn
Traditionally, the Faroese have always made their decisions at the assembly on the rocks on the tip of the small peninsula, Tinganes. You may recognize the peninsula by its iconic red wooden houses with green roofs. Right next to it and steeped in history, is the oldest part of Tórshavn, á Reyni.
Jutting out into the water, this headland divides the port into two: Eystaravág and Vesteravág. On one side is the Skansin fortress of Tórshavn that protected the Faroese from pirates, and on the other side lies the promenade, which is central to city life in Tórshavn.
Parliament in Tórshavn
For more than a thousand years, The Faroese have assembled on Tinganes to make joint decisions. The first ‘ting’ took place in 825, and is one of the oldest assemblies in the world. Every summer, the Faroese travelled to Tinganes to discuss the coming year and what had happened in the past. On the tip of Tinganes you can see ancient carvings in the rocks, where the assembly took place.
Originally the ‘ting’ was held in the open out on the headland, later it was relocated into one of the houses there. The ‘Lagmand’, or Prime Minister, is the highest political position in the Faroe Islands, and has its seat in the big red house on Tinganes.
Á Reyni - A unique borough made of wood
Tinganes also provides the rocky ground for the Old Town, á Reyni. When you walk the small alleys between the beautiful old wooden houses you will experience a unique old district - the oldest part of Tórshavn. A borough made of wood and grass that has been preserved through the ages, and those who currently live there receive support for the restoration of buildings in the traditional style.
Here there are red warehouses, small alleys, blackened houses with grass roofs, ‘flueskabe’ and ‘hjallur’ (small traditional huts for drying mutton). Some of the houses are so close that you can not walk between them or even open a window. In those times, a rule was made that the distance between the houses should be that of a stroke with a hammer. The houses are quite close and without straight lines and structure, and therefore they do not have numbers but names, usually after those who live there.
Guided through Tinganes
The best way to experience Tinganes is with a local guide who can tell you lots of great anecdotes, so as to familiarize yourselves with what has taken place there. Thus, you will acquire a deeper understanding of life in the Faroe Islands for the past thousand years.
Tinganes is located in the center of Tórshavn and is a must when visiting the capital. You will experience water on all sides, fresh air and small houses filled with charm and a history you will not find elsewhere. Read more about what to experience in Tórshavn here.