In the 9th century, Norweigans who wanted freedom of religion took refuge on the Islands. Irish monks are believed to have lived on the islands before this time, but understandably fled when the Vikings arrived in their longships. In 1305 the Faroe Islands were annexed by the Kingdom of Norway, which subsequently ended up under Danish rule in 1380. And there the islands have remained ever since. The Faroe Islands were granted home rule in 1948, but are still today part of the Danish realm.
The weather is maritime and quite changeable, from moments of brilliant sunshine to misty hill fog, to showers. The Gulf Stream encircling the islands tempers the climate. The harbours never freeze and the temperature in winter time is very moderate considering the high latitude. Snowfall occurs, but is short lived. The average temperature in winter is 3 degrees C. The air is always fresh and clean no matter what the season.
The population is just over 47,000. Approximately 18,800 people live in the metropolitan area which compromises Torshavn, Hoyvik, Argir, Kaldbak and Kollafjordur. Torshavn is the world's smallest capital city. Klaksvik is the second largest town in the Faroes, has a population of around 5,000.
The Faroe Islands have their own parliament and their political system has been used in the Faroes for over a thousand years and is the oldest known parliament in Europe. It is not, however, a member of the European Union and all trade is down under special treaties.
Religion plays an important part in the Faroese culture and over 80% of the population belong to the established church, the Evangelical-Lutheran. 10% of the population belong to the Christian Brethren (Plymouth Brethren).
Faroese is the national language and is rooted in Old Norse. Nordic languages are readily understood by most Faroese, and English is also widely spoken, especially by younger people. However, for the successful candidates, they will learn Danish, which will be their working language at the hospital. This will enable them, if they wish in the future, to work in Denmark.
The fishing industry is the most important source of income for the Faroes. Fish products account for over 97% of the exportvolume. Tourism is the second largest industry, followed by woollen and other manufactured products.
Things to do
There are many different activities to do, both indoors and outdoors:
Museums, cultural centres, churches, art galleries, festivals and exhibitions, music festivals and concerts, dining out, cinema, bird-watching, fishing and angling, scuba diving, hiking, boat trips, cycling, horse-riding, football, handball, sailing and rowing.