The village of Kirkjubøur is unique in the Faroes. In no other place are there such imposing monuments of the past, where the visitor can wander in an environment steeped in history and give reign to the imagination. Several archeological investigations have been carried out at Kirkjubøur, but the results are not yet complete. When all this great mass of material has been examined, we will, hopefully, be able to answer many of the complex, but interesting questions that these historic monuments give rise to.
Kirkjubøur is situated at the south-west end of Streymoy, in the middle of the Faroes. The village lies on the coast, just under high cliffs. There is little foreshore. It may be surprising that a bishop's residence should be situated in this particular place. But in the Middle Ages a bishop's residence was in fact a farm, whose economy depended on the products of the soil and grazing. The cultivation of corn was in those days very important and Kirkjubøur was one of the best places in the Faroes for this. It was also a place where a great deal of driftwood and other flotsam came ashore, which was no less important. There were good conditions for the maintenance of a big farm, and therefore the Catholic church took over the farm, which was here from an early age.
It is said in Kirkjubøur that the little island, just off the shore (Kirkjubøhólmur), has been connected to the mainland, but that at one time all the land out to the island was washed away in a storm. It is unlikely that it was all washed away at the same time, but there is no doubt that the landscape has been greatly changed over the centuries and that this has been a broad flat tongue of land, buch wider than it is today. There has been a continual sinking of the land, and the breakers have eroded the cliffs, just as we see in many other places of the Faroes.