Top Historic Sights in San Fernando, Spain

Explore the historic highlights of San Fernando

Iglesia Mayor de San Pedro y San Pablo

Iglesia Mayor de San Pedro y San Pablo is located in the center of San Fernando, opposite the Church Square. Construction of the church began in 1756, replacing the small parish church of Santa María del Castillo de San Romualdo. It was consecrated in 1764 but was not completed until the early 19th century. Its primitive design is attributed to Alejandro Perdia although Torcuato Benjumeda is credited with its final appea ...
Founded: 1756 | Location: San Fernando, Spain

San Romualdo Castle

Neither the origins nor the date of construction of San Romualdo Castle is certain, although historians are fairly sure that this castle dates back to medieval times. Built in the Mudéjar style, it was first mentioned in 1268. It is thought to have been used as both convent and fortress. The castle was officially declared as a historic monument by the Spanish authorities in 1931 and is easily located near the town centr ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: San Fernando, Spain

Panteón de Marinos Ilustres

Panteón de Marinos Ilustres (Pantheon of Distinguished Sailors) began construction in 1786, was inaugurated without a roof in 1870, and covered in 1948. Here rest the mortal remains of many Spanish sailors. From the exterior of the Pantheon of Illustrious Mariños, the sober and imposing doorway in neoclassical style stands out. Inside, the elliptical-shaped vestibule particularly stands out, as well as the church, wit ...
Founded: 1786 | Location: San Fernando, Spain

Castle of Sancti Petri

Situated on the little island, the defensive Sancti Petri fortification was once one of a series of forts that protected the inlet, Caño de Sancti Petri. Of irregular shape and in the Moorish style, it dates from the 13th century. During the 1st century, the Phoenicians settled on the island, founding a temple dedicated to Melqart, their god. When the Romans arrived they dedicated the temple to Hercules. The castle" ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: San Fernando, Spain

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.