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Location of Akraberg
Faroese stamp, 2013, with Erik Christensens photo

Akraberg is the southern tip of Suðuroy, 5 km south from the village Sumba, Faroe Islands. The name Akraberg derives from akur (cereal field). Five kilometres south of Akraberg is the southernmost point of The Faroe Islands, a rock called Munkurin (The Monk), also called Sumbiarsteinur, which is one of a group of six rocks. This group of rocks are called Flesjarnar. The sound between Suðuroy and Munkurin is notorious for its strong current, it is called Røstin, the poet Poul F. Joensen (born 1898, died 1970) mentioned it in one of his poems "...Røstin rísin rann...".

The waters south of Sumba are notorious for their unpredictability. Here lies a series of rocky skerries below and above sea level, and the meeting of currents, together with wind and weather, create dangerous conditions for boats and ships. The situation became more hazardous in 1884 when the high cliff "Munkurin" on the southernmost rock, Sumbiarsteinur, crashed into the sea and the seafarers lost the fixed landmark of the rocks.

The lighthouse[edit]

In 1909, a lighthouse and some family houses were built in Akraberg. The lighthouse itself is 14m tall, it consists of a white cylindrical tower with red landtern roof. It was fitted with guy wires to withstand the wind drag on this southern headland. The focal plane is located at 94 m above sea level, a flash signal is given every 20 seconds with red, green and white sectors. If needed, a fog horn may be sounded every 60 seconds.[1] Today, there are only two houses and a lighthouse, but there are no inhabitants. The last family who lived there was the lighthouse keeper Hans Petur Kjærbo and his family. They lived there during a terrible hurricane in December 1988, which later has been called The Christmas Hurricane. Luckily the house was very strong built and didn't get blasted away by the strong wind. But much damage had been done on their car, the soil and parts of the house; a window was blown out. Much damage happened in the Faroe Islands that night, many houses were blasted away by the hurricane. After that the lighthouse keeper and his family moved away from Akraberg, and nobody has lived there since then, except for tourists who rent one of the two houses there. The lighthouse is now automatic, but it needs attention regularly. Hans Petur Kjærbo is still a lighthouse keeper, but now he workes not only in Akraberg but also attends most of the other lighthouses in the Faroe Islands.

Medium wave station[edit]

Near Akraberg stands the medium wave station of Kringvarp Føroya, the Faroese broadcasting network. This transmits on 531 kHz. The antenna consists of a 141 metres tall guyed mast and can be received also in parts of Northern and Western Europe.

A peatland landscape[edit]

The peatland landscape above the headland of Akraberg at the southern tip of Suðuroy features relict peat cuttings of various age – from the 1950s and perhaps centuries before – as well as mounds of peat. The removal of dried peat from the torvløð and the continued use of the platforms led to a gradual increase in torvlað height. General comparisons are made with peat mounds from the British Isles. These features are of unknown antiquity, but they have been associated with the possible pre-Viking presence of Irish monks or priests (papar).[2]


British pillboxes from World War II

The Friesian people[edit]

A Frisian colony was there from the year 1040 until The Black Death killed all of them or most of them in 1350. The Frisians remained heathen a long time after the rest of the Faroe Islands were Christianize. It is said that they partly lived by piracy and they are mentioned in several Faeroese legends.[3]

World War II in Akraberg[edit]

During World War II, Akraberg lighthouse and radio were serviced by technical Royal Air Force soldiers, working on one of the first radar stations, which scanned the water and air south of the Faroe Islands.[4] There are still some buildings in Akraberg from the World War II period, which were built by the British soldiers by armed concrete.



  1. ^ Rowlett, Russ. "Lighthouses of the Faroes". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 16 March 2009. 
  2. ^ [1] A peatland landscape at Akraberg, Suðuroy, Faroe Islands: Peat mounds and a cautionary lesson. Danish Journal of Geography, 2008, by: Kevin J. Edwards, Rolf Guttesen & Petur J. Sigvardsen
  3. ^ [Suðuroyarsagnir by Dr. Jacobsen et.al.]
  4. ^ BBC

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 61°23′36″N 6°40′43″W / 61.3932°N 6.67864°W / 61.3932; -6.67864