Tórshavn (IPA: [ˈtʰɔuʂhaun]; Danish: Thorshavn) is the capital and largest town of the Faroe Islands. It is located in the southern part on the east coast of Streymoy. To the north west of the town lies the 347-metre (1,138 ft) high mountain Húsareyn, and to the southwest, the 350-metre (1,150 ft) high Kirkjubøreyn. The city itself has a population of 19,000 (2008). The city was founded in the 10th century.
The Vikings established their parliament on the Tingenes peninsula in Tórshavn 825, thus Tórshavn was made capital of Faroe Islands and has remained so ever since. All through the Middle Ages the narrow peninsula jutting out into the sea made up the main part of Tórshavn. Sources do not mention a built-up area in Tórshavn until after the Protestant Reformation in 1539. Early on, Tórshavn became the center of the monopoly trade, thereby being the only legal place for the islanders to sell and buy goods. In 1856, the trade monopoly was abolished and the islands were left open to free trade. The town has grown rapidly ever since the turn of the 20th century into the undisputed administrative, economic and cultural center of the Faroes.
The name of the Town means Thor's Harbour, and it may be named after the god of thunder and lightning in Norse mythology; thus the Town's coat of arms shows Thor's hammer Mjolnir. The Faroese usually refer to their capital as Havn - harbour.
Tórshavn is the capital of the Faroe Islands, and as such is the seat of the Faroes’ home rule government. The government holds the executive power in local government affairs. Today the government is located on the Tinganes peninsula of Tórshavn. The parliament, the Løgting, which was originally located on Tinganes, was relocated to the town square in 1856.