In the past the churches used to be in the old cemetery.
In 1741 a new church was built on the moor and a new cemetery was built around the church. It was made out of wood.
The church that now stands is the fourth church on that location however it is longer and wider than the older churches.
Magnus á Kamarinum designed the church. He oversaw the construction as well. A.C. Evensen anointed the church on April 19’th 1917.
Inside the church
Lucie Ingemann ( 1792-1868 ) who was the wife of B.S. Ingemann the novelist and poet has painted the altarpiece.
On the vessel wall above the alter are seven paintings that depict the torment of Jesus. Kristin í Geil has painted after old church paintings.
Mikkjal á Ryggi has painted the flowers between the paintings and the flowers on the pulpit and the baptistery.
Above the paintings are two lilies carved out of wood.
The model ship hanging in the church was made by Ferdinand Heinesen from Sandavág and donated to the church in 1952. The church organ was made by Frobenius and sons in 1991.
The runic stone
In Eingjartoftum was found a stone sticking up out of the soil. Dánjal í Bartalsstovu and his son Albert digged up the stone and tumbled it in to a ditch.
In the spring of 1917 Martin á Mýruni noticed carving on the stone. The word travelled fast through the village that a runic stone had been found.
Mikkjal á Ryggi
deciphered the runes.
and a rapport done
later by Mikkjal were
sent to prof. Johs.
Brøndum Nielsen in
The writing says:
austmapr af ruha-
lande bygpe pena
Translation: Torkil Onundarson a eastern man of Rogaland built on this place first.
The writing dates back to around 1200 AD. Most likely some of Torkils descendants erected the stone in memory. For it is improbable that settlers came from Norway at such a late date.
By the boat-houses
Down by the beach used to be old and new boat-houses. The boats would be on the sand but when the weather got bad they would pull them inside. The boat-house log has been there for as long as people can remember. It is a piece of driftwood that been laying alongside the old boat-houses by the river. Here men have gathered after a hard day at work or on the weekend to talk about this and that.
The beach used to be so big that it was on height with the boat-houses. The fishermen used to pull their boats up on to the beach when they came back from fishing right up till the time the boat-harbour was constructed.
The beach was a hive of
activity; people would be
building new boats,
mending old ones and
cooking fish oil.
The children playing on
the beach and the men playing football. Since the war the beach has reduced in size. The stone embankment was built in the 1990’s in order to protect the beach.
Churchill and the church bridge
The embankment by the beach is called Churchill. Here down by the sea used to be a church and a cemetery. Because of erosion by the sea the cemetery began to take serious damage and in 1741 it was relocated to where it is now. In order to provide protection from the surf they constructed a stone wall.
The old landing
When fishermen used to come back from the sea they would put the fish up on a place called - Hólki – before dragging the boats up on to the beach. Also when people went to Torshavn or on a shorter journey they would get in to the boat at – Hólki -.
First opened August 23rd 1896 it had only one classroom and a small hallway in the north end. The school was extended in 1909 and accommodations built for the teacher.
The author Hans
was teaching here
from 1909 till 1916.
A house was built for
the teacher in 1929
and the accommo-
dations inside the school were made in to another classroom. In 1933 the attic was rebuilt in to an apartment for the second teacher.
Out by the port
Úti á Bakka – has always been busy with regards to fishing. There have been six warehouses built out here and five of them are still standing today. – Bartalstovupakkhúsið – House of Bartal’s warehouse is the oldest one. They opened up for business back in 1870 and were the first shop in the village. –Loftapakkhúsið – the Loft warehouse ( 1914 ) – Zachariasar pakkhús – Zacharias’ warehouse
( 1953/54 ) – Pakkhúsið úti við Gjógv – the warehouse by the ravine ( 1912 ) and – Mathiasarpakkhús – Mathews warehouse. All of the warehouses received fish and dried fish outside and inn.
The fish drying field by the ravine
The fish drying field was built in two stages with the northern part constructed first. It is evident because the stones in the southern part are different.
In the late 1930’s they put a roof over the ravine, put iron rails, timber on top and metal plates on the outside. A rail cart would move the fish out to the field and back in to the warehouse. It can still be seen today. The fish drying field was repaired in 2015.
The Lawman had a lot of sheep and alot of sheeps heads. His servants would eat them for breakfast and dinner during the days when they had to go in to the mountains. They would take a head with them and eat it by the house. So many heads have been eaten here that the place is still called Skrovbeinafløta - scull-field.
At – Reynabrúgv – there are found two stone built houses dating back to around the 1840’s. They were for storing turf for fuel in. Over time they fell down but have since been re-erected and stand in good condition. The southern one in 1978 and the northern one in 2015. Today they stand as a testimony to times passed.
The ocean by Fótamørsklett
Fótamørsklettur is a marker showing the devision between – Heimanhús – Kvígandal – Oyragjógv and Rákarhaga. The Ocean is a stone of over 100 kilos, big, cumbersome and used to test the strength of men. The ocean is situated close to Fótamørsklettur.
The building of the school began in the 1950’s and in the spring of 1961 the school was finished so that on April 3’rd it was opened.
In 2014 a spectacular new school opened incorporating all the latest technology.
The artist Eli Smith was commissioned to create some art for decorating the school. In the fall of 2013 after a long period of preparation, deliberation, drawing and cutting all kinds of stones Eli could finally begin putting together his masterpiece.
A long image of slate pieces depicting the story of the Sheppard from Sandavág. Stones of all colours are gathered from all over the world.
The most productive author in the Faroe Islands so far was Jens Pauli Heinesen born November 12’th 1932 and died July 19’th 2011. He wrote around 40 pieces consisting of short stories, novellas, stage plays and more. He grew up at Hammershaimbsvegi 21 in Sandavág. He was the son of Petur Heinesen á Lofti and Anna Maria Malena Heinesen (born Johannesen). Jens Pauli was the third child of six. At the age of fourteen he went to Torshavn, at first to work in an office and then later he attended school. He fished school in 1950 and received his baccalaureate in 1952. In 1956 he fished his education as a teacher in Emdrupborg in Denmark.
In 1956 Jens Pauli married Maud Brimheim from Klaksvík.
He had three children Elin, Marianna and Janus.
Jens Pauli worked as a teacher in Denmark for a year but then returned to the Faroe Islands.
He worked to get schoolbooks published in Faroese.
In the 1970’s he gave up his job as a teacher to work as a writer full time.
He was president for the authors association from 1968 till 1975.
Jens Pauli Heinesen won the M.A. Jacobsens award three times in 1958, 1978 and 1993. He was nominated for the award of the Nordic-council in 1982 and 1994. He received the Government of the Faroe Islands culture award in 1999.
Jens Pauli Heinesen
Stories from Sandavágur
Sandavágur is an old settlement. In the village there have been found signs of pre-midival settlement: in Eingjarttoftum where a stone containing runic writing was found, also beside Mataránna and Norðuri í Toftum ( North in the ruins ). Here were found items dating back to the viking-age.
Vencelaus Ulricus Hammershaimb (1819-1909) was born á Steig in Sandavág. His father was the last lawman in the Faroe Islands.
In 1847 Vencelaus
got a degree in
It is said that
the father of the
written language of the Faroe Islands. In olden days people used to write like they spoke, this resulted in written dialects. Hammershaimb saw that if Faroese were to survive as a language for the islands then this would not do. He published a book on orthography. It was revised later and got its final form in - Færøsk Anthologi - Faroese Anthology. It is still in use to this day. Hammershaimb died on April 8’th 1909.
In 1916 during a meeting of the youth organisation Vón they agreed to erect a memorial á Steig in connection with the centennial of V.U. Hammers-
haimbs birth. It was agreed that a petition would be sent throughout the faroes to raise the money for the memorial. People liked the idea and they were able to raise 7.000 crowns.
H.C.W. Tórgarð was asked
to come up with a design
and Petur Arge was commi-
ssioned with the construc-
tion of the memorial.
The youth in the village
took it upon themselves to
get the stones needed.
The memorial was unveiled
on the March 25’th 1919.
The bishop Jákup Dahl held the unveiling speech. He was also asked to choose what should be written on the memorial to best commemorate the work that Hammershaimb had done for the Faroese language. He chose a verse from - Regin smið – Regin the blacksmith.
The Lawman’s farm
The Lawman’s farm was á Steig from 1555 till 1816 when the office of the Lawman was decommissioned. By that time there had been 17 Lawmen serving in office. The first Lawman was Guttorm Andersen.
Belonging to the farm was half of all land belonging to the village.
The farm consisted of several
buildings close to the river –
Stórá – Large river.
Hammershaimb mentions in
his writings on place names
from 1853 the building –
Stórstova – Large house for
the lawman and his family -
Smástova – Little house for
the servants and –
á Heyggi – on the hill was for the barn.
Stallá – Stable river runs close by where the barn was. It probably gets its name from the lawman’s stable. There were many outbuildings like a corn house, a mill, a curing house and a boat house down by the beach.
Jørgen Frants Hammershaimb was the last to hold the office of Lawman in the Faroe Islands. He held the office from 1805 till 1816 when the Logting was decommissioned.
Troll-woman's finger and the Plague of pirates
On the south-eastern tip of Vagar is –Trøllkonufingur – Troll-woman’s finger. The bottom part of it is attached to land but the upper part is loose and resembles a large finger.
The old people used to say that it was the finger of a troll-woman who wanted to throw the Faroe Islands to Iceland. But the sun came up and she was turned to stone and fell in to the sea. Only her finger and her neck are protruding out of the water. Her neck is – Koltursnakki -. The finger is 313 meters high ( 1.026 feet ) so the woman must have been tall.
One legend is that a man climbed to the top of the finger. On his way down again he realised that he had left his favourite gloves at the top and climbed back up to get it. On his way up he fell down and died.
Before Fredric the 7’th became king of Denmark he travelled up to the Faroe Islands in 1844. He delighted in seeing good climbers and while his ship stopped by the finger two men from Sandavág wanted to see if they could climb to the top.
Pól Jóhannus í Horni and Kolturs Jóannes, both capable mountain men. Above the part where the finger is loose from the cliff the climb became difficult and dangerous. They managed to climb up to where the finger gets narrow and here they stopped because they could not see a way up. Around this time the people on the ship encouraged them to come back down again. So they did and came back down safe.
On July 17’th 2012 and again on July 7’th 2015 the finger was climbed again.
Vakhús, Manssetur og Toftin uppi á Palli
In the field outside – Skarvatanga – is the ground for a small house called – Vakhús – guard house.
When the people in the village knew that pirates were somewhere in the islands they would have a guard on watch in the house. From here he would have a view over the sea and be in close proximity to the village.
An even better viewpoint can be found at – Manssetur – Man’s seat where they would have a man sitting from time to time keeping watch.
When the people keeping guard saw a ship they would run back to the village and gather all the people up to a safe house at – Uppi á Pall - up on the platau.
The settlement of Giljanes
In the 1830’s four families moved inn to – Giljanes – to settle. Just one of the families remained. Jógvan Hansen from Sandavág lived out his days in what for a long time was the only house on – Giljanes -.
The house was long and had a barn in one end and a curing room in the other. They were taken down in the 1960’s and a new house built close by. Only the stairs in front of the old house still exist.
The settlers had a house for grain, a boathouse and a mill.
Øttisheyggjur ( Øttis-hill )
At – Giljanes – there is a hill that is believed to be a grave borough.
It is believed that – Øtti – is supposed to have owned Miðvág and Sandavág and chose to get buried where he could see both places.
We have a spoken account from a man that dug a drainage ditch close by. He said that he came upon human bones and artefacts that he believed to be from the viking-age.