This period saw many constructions and fortifications as pirate attacks were common during that period in Torshavn. A small fort, ‘Skansin’ was built by the Faroese naval hero and trader ‘Magnus Heinason’ at the north end of the harbor. Many inhabitants came in search of work to Torshavn where fishing became their livelihood.
In 1655, king Frederick III of Denmark gifted the Faroe Islands to his favorite statesman Kristoffer Gabel, the ruler of the von Gabel Family. This Gablatíðin was actually the darkest chapter in the history of Torshavn that covered up the islanders in various ways.
As the trade monopoly was in the family’s hands, it greatly affected the lives of the Faroese people. They faced real bad times even to sustain their day-to-day living. Also the imported goods were limited and costly to afford.
The unfair conduct by the civil administration in Tórshavn, the monopoly trade, and a major devastation due to a fire outbreak burnt many houses to the ground, where old Faroese records and Gabel's documents were lost.
With 1709, conditions improved in Tórshavn when the trade monopoly became a royal monopoly where goods were supplied from Copenhagen thrice a year. The same period did face a plague of smallpox that considerably reduced its population.
Tórshavn truly started to develop into a small town during the latter half of the 18th century. The era of Niels Ryberg stabilized its trade and economy and filled the warehouses with goods. Besides this, he even made profit from fishing, which later became the most important economic factor to the islands.
Photo Credit: CC/Erik Christensen