The early details of the history of the Faroe Islands are unclear. It is possible that Brendan, an Irish monk, sailed past the islands during his North Atlantic voyage in the 6th century. He saw an 'Island of Sheep' and a 'Paradise of Birds,' which some say could be the Faroes with its dense bird population and sheep. This does suggest however that other sailors had got there before him, to bring the sheep. Norsemen settled the Faroe Islands in the 9th century or 10th century. The islands were officially converted to Christianity around the year 1000, and became a part of the Kingdom of Norway in 1035. Norwegian rule on the islands continued until 1380, when the islands became part of the dual DenmarkNorway kingdom, under king Olaf II of Denmark.
Following the 1814 Treaty of Kiel that ended the dual DenmarkNorway kingdom, the Faroe Islands remained under the administration of Denmark as a county. During World War II, after Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany, the British invaded and occupied the Faroe Islands until shortly after the end of the war. Following an, unrecognized by Denmark, independence referendum in 1946, the Faroe Islands were given extended self-governance with the Danish Realm in 1948 with the signing of the Home Rule Act of the Faroe Islands.
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