Theme Week Greenland – Nuuk

Saturday, 24 September 2022 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  9 minutes

Nuuk © panoramio.com - patano/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nuuk © panoramio.com – patano/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nuuk is the capital and largest city of Greenland, a constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark. Nuuk is the seat of government and the country’s largest cultural and economic centre. The major cities from other countries closest to the capital are Iqaluit and St. John’s in Canada and Reykjavík in Iceland. Nuuk contains a third of Greenland’s population and its tallest building. Nuuk is also the seat of government for the Sermersooq municipality. In January 2021, it had a population of 18,800.

The city was founded in 1728 by the Dano-Norwegian missionary Hans Egede when he relocated from the earlier Hope Colony (Danish: Haabets Koloni) where he arrived in 1721. The governor Claus Paarss was part of the relocation. The new colony was placed at the Inuit settlement of Nûk and was named Godthaab (“Good Hope”). “Nuuk” is the Greenlandic word for “cape” (Danish: næs) and is commonly found in Greenlandic place names. It is so named because of its position at the end of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord on the eastern shore of the Labrador Sea. Its latitude, at 64°11′ N, makes it the world’s northernmost capital, only a few kilometres farther north than the Icelandic capital Reykjavík. When home rule was established in 1979, the authorization of place names was transferred to Greenlandic authorities, who subsequently preferred Greenlandic names over Danish ones. The name Godthåb mostly went out of use over the next two decades. The campus of the University of Greenland, hosting Statistics Greenland and the main holdings of the Public and National Library of Greenland, are at the northern end of the district, near the road to Nuuk Airport. Nuuk receives its electric power mainly from the renewable energy-powered Buksefjord hydroelectric power plant by way of a 132 kV powerline crossing Ameralik fjord over a distance of 5,376 m (17,638 ft), the world’s longest free span.

Nuuk is located at the mouth of Nuup Kangerlua (formerly Baal’s River), some 10 km (6.2 mi) from the shores of the Labrador Sea on the southwestern coast of Greenland, and about 240 km (150 mi) south of the Arctic Circle. Initially, the fjord flows to the northwest, to then turn southwest, splitting into three arms in its lower run, with three big islands in between the arms: Sermitsiaq Island, Qeqertarsuaq Island, and Qoornuup Qeqertarsua. The fjord widens into a bay dotted with skerries near its mouth, opening into Labrador Sea. Some 20 km (12 mi) to the northeast, reaching a height of 1,210 m (3,970 ft), Sermitsiaq can be seen from almost everywhere in Nuuk. The mountain has given its name to the nationwide newspaper Sermitsiaq. Closer to the town are the peaks of Store Malene, 790 m (2,590 ft), and Lille Malene, 420 m (1,380 ft). The magnetic declination at Nuuk is extreme.

Campus of the University of Greenland © Sowwiki/cc-by-sa-3.0 H.J. Rinkip Aqqutaa © Quintin Soloviev/cc-by-sa-4.0 Nuussuaq district © Algkalv/cc-by-sa-3.0 Qernertunnguit, a neighborhood in the Quassussuup Tungaa district © Algkalv/cc-by-sa-3.0 Nuuk © panoramio.com - patano/cc-by-sa-3.0 Tuapannguit buildings © Quintin Soloviev/cc-by-sa-4.0 The Nuuk Art Museum © flickr.com - Peter Løvstrøm/cc-by-2.0
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Qernertunnguit, a neighborhood in the Quassussuup Tungaa district © Algkalv/cc-by-sa-3.0
Although only a small town, Nuuk has developed trade, business, shipping and other industries. It began as a small fishing settlement with a harbor, but as the economy developed rapidly during the 1970s and 1980s, the fishing industry in the capital declined. The port is nevertheless still home to almost half of Greenland’s fishing fleet. The local Royal Greenland processing plant absorbs landed seafood amounting to over DKK 50 million (US$7 million) per annum, mainly (80%) shrimp, but also cod, lumpfish and halibut. Seafood, including seal, is also sold in abundance in Nuuk’s fish markets, the largest being Kalaaliaraq Market. Minerals including zinc and gold have contributed to the development of Nuuk’s economy. The city, like much of Greenland, is heavily dependent upon Danish investment and relies on Denmark for block funding. All of Greenland’s electricity is supplied by the government-owned company Nukissiorfiit, which has a monopoly on the electricity in Greenland. Since 1993, Nuuk has received its electric power mainly from Buksefjord hydroelectric power plant by way of a 132 kV powerline crossing Ameralik fjord over a distance of 5,376 m (17,638 ft), the world’s longest free span. Nuuk has several educational institutions of higher learning. The University of Greenland (Ilisimatusarfik), the only university in Greenland, is in Nuuk. The university was founded in 1987 and expanded in 2007 with the new building, Ilimmarfik, housing departments of journalism, management and economics, language, literature and media, cultural and social history, theology and religion and social work. Nuuk is also home to the Department of Learning (Ilinniarfissuaq), the oldest educational facility in Greenland, in the old colonial part of Nuuk (Nuutoqaq: Old Nuuk). Other notable educational institutions include the Department of Nursing and Health Science, Nuuk Technical College and the Iron & Metal School. The city is served by Queen Ingrid’s Hospital. The hospital not only serves as the main hospital for the municipality but is the central hospital in all of Greenland. The hospital has 185 beds. The Nuuk Tourist Office was built in 1992 to house the headquarters of the new National Tourist Board of Greenland. Shops in Nuuk offer local art and craftwork. In July 2012, Greenland’s first shopping centre, Nuuk Center (NC), opened. The centre has Greenland’s first underground parking. Several supermarkets exist, such as Nuuk Center, Pisiffik, Brugseni, and Spar.

Hans Egede’s House, built in 1721 by the Norwegian missionary Hans Egede, is the oldest building in Greenland. Standing close to the harbour among other old houses, it is now used for government receptions. The Church of Our Saviour of the Lutheran diocese of Greenland was built in 1849, and the tower was added in 1884. The red building with a clock tower and steeple is a prominent site on the landscape. The church received the status of Nuuk Cathedral in 1994, when the first bishop was Kristian Mørk, followed in 1995 by Sofie Petersen, a native of Greenland and the second woman in Denmark to become a bishop. The Herrnhut House was the centre of the Moravian mission of New Herrnhut. Other landmarks include the Hans Egede Church and the Statue of Hans Egede. Greenland National Museum is in Nuuk and was one of the first museums established in Greenland, inaugurated in the mid-1960s. The museum has many artifacts and exhibits related to Greenland’s archaeology, history, art, and handicrafts, and contains the Qilakitsoq mummies. Katuaq is a cultural centre used for concerts, films, art exhibitions, and conferences. It was designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen and inaugurated on 15 February 1997. Katuaq contains two auditoria, the larger seating 1,008 people and the smaller, 508. The complex also contains an art school, library, meeting facilities, administrative offices and a café. The Nuuk Art Museum is the only private art and crafts museum in Greenland. The museum contains a notable collection of local paintings, watercolours, drawings, and graphics, some by Andy Warhol; and figures in soapstone, ivory, and wood, with many items collected by archaeologists.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on VisitGreenland.com – Nuuk, Wikivoyage Nuuk and Wikipedia Nuuk. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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