A chronology of key events:
circa 600 AD - Irish monks settle on the islands.
circa 800 - Norwegian farmers arrive.
circa 1000 - Christianity introduced under the king of Norway's rule.
1035 - Islands become part of the Kingdom of Norway.
1380 - Along with Norway, the Faroe Islands become part of the Kingdom of Denmark.
1655 - Faroe Islands are presented to the von Gabel family. Their oppressive feudal rule ends in 1709 when the Faroes come under direct Danish rule.
1816 - Faroe Islands become a Danish county.
1849 - Under the Danish constitution the Faroes are given representation in both houses of the Danish parliament.
1856 - Danish trade monopoly ends.
1872 - Purchase of the first seafaring fishing vessel heralds the growth of the islands' main economic activity.
1906-09 - First political parties are formed, representing divisions over home-rule issue.
1940 - World War II: British forces occupy the Faroes while Denmark is under German occupation.
1946 - Narrow vote for secession from Denmark in referendum. Danish king dissolves Faroese parliament.
1948 - Home rule act is passed. The islands become an autonomous, self-governing region of the Kingdom of Denmark.
1973 - Territory opts not to join the European Community with Denmark.
early 1990s - Economic crisis, amid falling fish prices and depleted stocks. Unemployment and emigration rise.
2001 March - Planned referendum on independence is cancelled after Denmark says a pro-independence result would lead to a halt in annual subsidies.
2002 April - Election result reveals split over independence issue, with no clear mandate for separation from Denmark.
2003 December - Pro-independence party pulls out of coalition. After early elections in January 2004 a three-party coalition is formed.
2006 September - The islands start importing whalemeat from Iceland, despite a ban on the trade under the UN's Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
2008 January - Parliamentary elections. New governing coalition formed. Joannes Eidesgaard continues as premier.
2008 September - Kaj Leo Johannesen of the Union Party becomes prime minister and forms new coalition government after the collapse of the coalition led by Joannes Eidesgaard.
2011 October - Centre right Union and People's parties increase their share of the vote in parliamentary elections.