Just like many other Northern European countries, the Faroe Islands were also pillaged by pirates, Suðuroy being the island with the most severe cases and the island with the most raids. There are many interesting tales and stories to be told about the Turkish pirates in Suðuroy.
Pirates ravaged Hvalba, Trongisvágur and Øravík in the 17th century. In 1629 three Turkish pirate ships attacked the village of Hvalba. When they left the village after the ravage two of the ships ran aground on some rocks and were shattered by the heavy surf. The stories say that more than 300 bodies washed ashore. In Gjørðasondum in Hvalba there are a few tufts called ‘Turkagravirnar‘ meaning The Turks’ Graves. It is said that the bodies of the Turkish pirates that washed ashore were buried in this location. A few red-, green- and white speckled rocks still remain on the sand in Hvalba and can be found, if one is lucky. These rocks are called Turkarasteinar, meaning ‘Turkish Rocks’, and are said to be remnants of ballast stones of the pirate ships.
It is also said that 30 women and children from Hvalba were kidnapped to be sold into slavery in North Africa. Many people of the Faroes tried to raise enough money to buy back the people. However, this was not successful and the people never returned to the islands.
Sources: www.heimabeiti.fo; www.wikipedia.org
Many exciting tales and legends remain of the pirate attacks and if you’re interested in hearing more about the pirates tales of Suðuroy, we’ll be happy to arrange a guided tour for you.
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