Top Historic Sights in Kvitsøy, Norway

Explore the historic highlights of Kvitsøy

Kvitsøy Stone Cross

The famous Kvitsøy Stone Cross was erected between 800–1050 AD. Some say it was put there by English missionaries in the 900s while others claim it was raised by Erling Skjalgsson and Olav Haraldsson, Viking chiefs, in 1016. There are a number of large stone crosses along the west coast of the Norway. Kvitsøy is first mentioned in the Snorre Saga, where Snorre records a truce being made between King Ol ...
Founded: 800 - 1050 AD | Location: Kvitsøy, Norway

Kvitsøy Church

In 1591 the population of Kvitsøy island had become large enough to fund the raising of a church, which was however not completed before 1620. It is still standing and the first new church in the county after the reformation. The church was restored and expanded in 1797 and 1841. The oldest item is a stone baptismal font from the 1100s. The pulpit, made by Lauritz Snekker, dates from 1620.
Founded: 1620 | Location: Kvitsøy, Norway

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kirkjubøargarður

Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.

The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.

Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.