In 1580, the great Faroese adventurer Magnus Heinason ordered the construction of a fort to protect the trading centre of Tórshavn from a steadily increasing number of seaborne attacks across the North Atlantic – in many cases from pirate raids. The original fortification only lasted until 1677, when French pirates destroyed the fort after their final demand for 100 oxen, 200 sheep, 500 pairs of gloves, 1,200 pairs of stockings and 60 nightshirts wasn’t met by the people of Tórshavn within the 12-hour deadline.
The fort served as a British Royal Navy headquarters during the Second World War. The two guns which face out to sea from behind the fort were used to defend the islands against German attack. Skansin also includes four older brass cannons from the time of the Danish Trade Monopoly and a lighthouse.
Although not much remains of the fort today, Skansin still offers quite exceptional views out over the sea to neighbouring island Nólsoy. The grass lawn is a great spot for a packed picnic.