Ategua is an Ibero-Roman fortified settlement with substantial archaeological remains stretching into the Middle Ages. Ategua was a great city that already existed from the third millennium BCE on, its wall was erected over a plateau that allowed it to control the whole horizon.
The oldest documented archaeological finds at Ategua date from the Late Bronze Age, after which archaeologists have recorded a more or less unbroken stratigraphic sequence up to the 14th century BCE. From the 9th century BCE it was used as a pre-colonial cremation necropolis, and roughly 150 years after thecemetery was abandoned humans established an urban centre on this site,with orthogonal-plan dwellings defended by an outer wall, which remained in use until the 7th century BCE.
The army of Roman Julius Ceaser conquered Ategua in 45 BCE. After that victory, Caesar continued his successfulmilitary campaign across Hispania, vanquishing the supportersof Pompey’s sons at the Battle of Munda and subsequentlyreturning to Rome in triumph.
A group of buildings known as domus provide evidence of urban residential architecture in Roman Ategua. The group includesseveral modest houses built around courtyards with water tanks or wells.
Given its strategic position at a crossroads vital to the defence of Córdoba, the hilltop was occupied by a castle during the final years of Muslim rule. The castle, with an irregular polygonal plan following the contours of the terrain, had a total of 9 towers and two gates. One of these gates was set into the north walland reinforced, in the modern era, with an octagonal tower. The other, directly opposite, faced south and was flanked by two square towers. The castle also had a bastion jutting out from the northwest corner.
This military structure was maintained throughout the late Middle Ages, and over time a population centre grew up around it, but the hilltop was definitively abandoned sometime in the 14th or 15th century. The rectangular building at the southwest corner outside the castle wall was built during the Christian era, in the 13th or 14th century, and the typical market-stall layout leaves no doubt as to its commercial purpose.References:
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.