Rauks on Fårö
|Area||113.30 km2 (44 sq mi) |
Fårö is a small Baltic Sea island just off north of the island of Gotland, itself off mainland Sweden's southeastern coast. It is the second-largest island in the province. It has a population of fewer than 600 and has become a popular summer resort. The island has no banks, post offices, medical services or police. It has its own dialect (a dialect of Modern Gutnish), claimed to be the "oldest" language in Sweden.
The island is separated from Gotland by the narrow Fårö-strait, and connected by two car ferries, operated by the Swedish National Road Administration. It has a total area of 111.35 square kilometers, of which 9.7 square kilometers are water areas or islets.
On the islands of Fårö and Gotland, rock formations called "Rauk" can be found. These were a result of erosion during the Ice Age and are unique to Gotland and Fårö.
The name "Fårö" (in Gutnish "Faroy") is derived from the words "ö", meaning island, and "får-", which is a word associated with travel like in the Swedish word "färled" (fairway). The word Fårö probably means the island you have to travel to or the traveler's island. Mainland Swedes might misinterpret the name Fårö to be derived from får, the Swedish word for sheep, due to the many sheep on the island. However, the Gutnish word for sheep is "lamm" (similar to the Swedish word "lamm", meaning "lamb").
Until the 1990s, Fårö and the North of Gotland were off limits to foreigners because of a government military installation there. There were large, multilingual signs at the side of the roads informing visitors of this and the prohibition was strictly enforced. After the Cold War ended, the installation (Swedish coastal artillery division KA3) was mostly shut down. A relic of the island's military past is a 203-meter tall radio mast at Holmudden at 57°57'33" N and 19°20'46" E.
Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman lived and died on Fårö and several of his films were filmed there, among them Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Persona (1966), Hour of the Wolf (1968), Shame (1968), The Passion of Anna (1969), and Scenes from a Marriage (1972), as well as Liv Ullmann’s Faithless (2000), based on a Bergman screenplay. The Bergman Festival is a weeklong tribute to the filmmaker held on the island every June.
An annual event on Fårö is "Fårönatta" (Fårö Nights), held in September, during which restaurants and bars stay open all night, craft stands are set up and the church holds a midnight Mass.
Fårö Fyr (Fårö Lighthouse)
The Fårö Lighthouse lies on the island's northeastern point. It is 30 meters high and was built from 1846 to 1847.
The Langhammar peninsula and the Langhammar nature reserve on north-western Fårö feature rocky beaches with the Ice Age stone monoliths known as rauks. Langhammar was the setting for Ingmar Bergman's film Through a Glass Darkly.
The Digerhuvud nature reserve features the Helgumannen fishing village. It is not suited for swimming due to its depth (up to 80 meters close to the shore) and strong currents. However, it is a popular diving and sport-fishing area.
The long, sandy Sudersand beach on north-eastern Fårö lies next to Sudersands Semesterby which rents cabins to tourists.
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