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50 Kronur 1978, Faeroe Islands

in Krause book Number: 20b
Years of issue: 1978
Edition: --
Signatures: Ríkisumboðið (Danish High Commissioner): Leif Groth, Føroya Landsstýri (Prime - Minister): Atli Pætursson Dam
Serie: 1978 - 1986 Issue
Specimen of: 1967
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 144 x 72
Printer: Banknote Printing Works and The Royal Danish Mint, Copenhagen

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

50 Kronur 1978




Anchor chain.


50 Kronur 1978

Nólsoyar Páll

Nólsoyar Páll (originally, Poul Poulsen Nolsøe) (11 October 1766, Nólsoy - 1808 or 1809, near Sumba) is a Faroese national hero. He was a seaman, trader, poet, farmer and boat builder who tried to develop direct trade between the Faroes and the rest of Europe and introduced vaccination to the islands. He went missing in the winter of 1808/09 sailing home from England.

In lower right corner is the schooner "Royndin Fríða" ("Beautiful Trial") with Nólsoyar Páll and his brothers aboard.

Now more exactly about everything:

Poul Poulsen was the fourth of seven children. He and his brothers all took the additional name "Nolsøe" for the island where they were born. After his father's death in 1786 he fulfilled his ambition of going to sea, and travelled widely; he supposedly served in both the British and the French Navy, captained a US merchant vessel, and also sailed on pirate ships in China. In 1798 he married a woman from his home island, Sigga Maria Tummasdóttir, and was based in Copenhagen for a couple of years, then returned to the Faroes in 1800. His wife died, and in 1801 he remarried to Maren or Marin Malene Ziska, the daughter of a wealthy crown tenant near Klaksvík on Borðoy, and took over another crown tenancy nearby. He was so successful farming there that the Danish Royal Society for the Advancement of Agriculture awarded him a silver medal, although he died before he could receive it.

His innovations in shipbuilding, a longer and more sharply rising keel and a less square sail closer to the lateen, were rapidly adopted. He also designed an improved spinning wheel.

Royndin Frida

Denied a loan to buy a ship to demonstrate the possibilities of fishing from larger ships, he, his brother-in-law Per Larsen, Jacob Jacobsen and Poul's brothers bought a wrecked ship at auction and rebuilt her at Vágur. Launched on 6 August 1804 and christened "Royndin Fríða" ("Beautiful Trial"), this schooner was the first seagoing ship built in the Faroe Islands, and the first Faroese-owned vessel since the early Middle Ages.

Royndin Frida

Since 1805 was a bad year for fishing, he instead took loads of coal from Suðuroy across the Atlantic to Bergen and Copenhagen, trying to open up direct trading, but was prevented from importing goods to the Faroes by the Danish Royal Trade Monopoly authorities. Instead, by vaccinating members of his crew successively using material from the previous man, he succeeded in bringing the first smallpox vaccine back to the Faroes, and with the help of one of his brothers spread vaccination through the islands. The following year, after again attempting to trade directly, he was convicted and fined on two charges of contravention of the trading laws, but cleared of smuggling goods back to the Faroes, having sold them to a Swedish ship in the Kattegat. He reacted by counter-suing the Tórshavn district sheriff, Joen Christiansen Øre, for large-scale smuggling; the Monopoly officials appear to have been conducting personal trading on the side. However, he seems to have dropped the lawsuit. In 1807, after a year's effort to overcome refusals by the local government in the Faroes and by the Monopoly, he sailed to Copenhagen on Royndin Fríða as one of a deputation of five presenting a popularly supported proposal for a three-year experimental lifting of the trade restrictions. They had to illegally sell 2,600 knitted sweaters and other merchandise to a Norwegian merchant to finance the voyage, but Crown Prince Frederick, who was governing as regent for his father, and others in Copenhagen were sympathetic, and trade would have been opened up if war with England had not begun.

After the battle in 1807, the British Navy began a six-year blockade of Denmark as part of the ongoing Napoleonic wars, cutting off the Monopoly barley trade which had supplied 80% of the Faroes Islanders' grain needs. To stave off famine, Nólsoyar Páll obtained a pass from the British, and brought a load of barley back with him in October 1807. The following summer, after two British ships in succession had plundered the Faroes of all Danish government property, he sailed back to Denmark at the request of the Tórshavn commandant to try to obtain more grain, but Royndin Fríða was seized by a British warship and irreparably damaged. Taken to London, he and his crew obtained the Privy Council's sympathy and a replacement ship - "the North Star". Northern Star

In this ship they sailed soon after 17 November 1808 with what was to have been the first of several grain shipments, but were lost at sea, presumably in the heavy storms of November and December that year. The famine was not averted until 1810, when an arrangement was made with the British. The depth of the hatred between Nólsoyar Páll and the Tórshavn commandant is demonstrated by the latter expressing his satisfaction the next April at Páll's having not returned, even though he had asked him to sail for help. This led to suspicion, which still persists, that the commandant had arranged Páll's death, perhaps by commissioning a Norwegian privateer ("the Odin") to sink Páll's ship south of the Faroes.

Nólsoyar Páll was a talented poet known for satirical ballads. He and his youngest brother Jákup often collaborated on poems; the first mature work which can be unequivocally ascribed to Páll is "Krákuteiti," about the case of a law-man who refused to recognize the baby he had fathered on his housekeeper: he is portrayed as a heron, the housekeeper as a duck, the judge he tried to buy, a cuckoo, and the unwanted child, a red knot. "Jákup á Møn" is about an unlucky suitor, and mocks the parochialism then very prevalent in the islands. "Fruntatáttur" mocks the fashion for women to wear a fringe. "Gorplandskvæði" memorialises the cowardice of the commandant of the Tórshavn garrison, who surrendered without a fight to a British gunboat. A rather rushed work, it has been claimed for another poet, but the tone of the mockery and characteristics such as Nólsoy vocabulary indicate it is by Nólsoyar Páll.

His best known work is "Fuglakvæði" (Ballad of the Birds), a 229-stanza work in which birds of prey symbolize the Danish authorities, and the poet himself warns the smaller birds in the guise of an oyster catcher, which was later chosen to be the national bird of the Faroe Islands. The ballad said in poetic form what could not have been said in plain speech; it sold many copies.

Nólsoyar Páll almost succeeded in opening the Faroes to direct trading over half a century early, although most of his inspiration was posthumous. His ideas, "Royndin Fríða" and the training he provided to Faroese in ocean-going sailing began the development of deep-sea fishing, which later brought the islands prosperity; Klaksvík, where he lived and hauled up for the winter, has become one of the fishing ports. He was an exemplary patriot and has become a national hero. In his poem "Heimferð Nólsoyar Páls" (The Return of Nólsoyar Páll), Janus Djurhuus wrote of his voyage home, drawn by Beinisvørð, symbolizing the independent islands.

Denomination in numeral is in top right corner. Centered in words and in numeral. Also, on background, repeated in numerals.


50 Kronur 1978

Nolsoy Nolsoy Nolsoy

The view at Kirke (local church) and 4 wooden houses in Nólsoy village, at Nolsoy island.

Nolsoy (far. Nólsoy, dan. Nolsø) is an island and village in central Faroe Islands, 4 km. east of the capital Tórshavn in Streymoy.

It takes 20 minutes to reach Nólsoy from Tórshavn by boat. From the little harbour one enters the village by passing through a portal that is made of the cheekbones of a huge sperm whale.

Soon one is in the middle of the village surrounded by the small and colourful wooden houses. The cosy small houses are placed extremely close to each other and one can imagine how they will shelter each other from the cold and salty winter storms.

As many as 40 people that live in Nólsoy go to work in Tórshavn each morning. In recent years many young families have moved from Tórshavn to Nólsoy where the houses are cheaper than in Tórshavn.

This way it is possible to live "in the country" and still be only 20 minutes from the capital.

The mountain that gives Nólsoy its characteristic look is green and lush on the side that faces Tórshavn. On the other side it consists of impressive vertical bird-cliffs. The sea has eaten huge caves and tunnels under the cliffs. This area can be visited on boat-trips that are arranged from Tórshavn.

Nólsoyar Páll came from Nólsoy. He is recognized as a kind of freedom fighter and national hero. He fought to end the Royal Trade Monopoly in the beginning of XIX century. The Royal Trade Monopoly was exhausting and impoverishing the people of the Faroe Islands from 1271 to 1856. Nólsoyar Páll carried trade between Denmark and Faroe Islands in his ship "Royndin Frida". His ship was the first Faeroese ocean-going vessel since the early Middle Ages.

Nólsoy has an annual civic festival called Ovastevna. The festival is in the beginning of August. Ovastevna is similar to Ólavsøka in Tórshavn only smaller. Ovastevna is held to commemorate Ove Joensen from Nólsoy. He rowed from Faroe Islands to Denmark in a traditional Faeroese boat in 1986. In 1987 Ove drowned in Skálafjørður-inlet where he fell over board.

The profit from the festival is used to build a swimming pool for the children in Nólsoy. Ove originally started this project after his row to Denmark.

On the south tip of Nólsoy a natural tunnel goes through the island. If the weather is nice it is possible to sail through the tunnel in a small boat.

Tradition says that a troll wanted to move Nólsoy to Sandoy. It tied a rope to the tunnel on Nólsoy and to a similar tunnel on Sandoy and started dragging. It dragged so hard that its head popped of and formed the mountain Trollhovdi on the northern tip of Sandoy. Trollhovdi means "Head of the Troll" in Faeroese.

Kirke Kirke Kirke

Left, on banknote is the church (Kirke) of island Nolsoy.

As on the cemetery have found a baptismal font from Catholic times, there have, probably, been church on Nólsoy since the Middle Ages. The present church was built in 1863. It is covered with wood and painted white with round-arched windows. Inside the church is special with a great chorus, and with an altar that stands out from the wall. The ceiling is painted sky blue with gold stars strewn across the firmament.

On pink background repeat the word "Føroyar".

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top right corners.


Many thanks for help with info and photos to following pages:

Personal page of Mr. Jens Kjeld