"Nuuk" is the Greenlandic word for " cape " (Danish: næs). 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.
- 5 m (16 ft)
- 29 August 1728
- Kingdom of Denmark
Nuuk The heart of a nation. Greenland’s largest city and capital is fueled on fresh air, strong coffee and diverse personalities.
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About Nuuk Located only 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle, at the mouth of a group of fjords, Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, is the perfect starting point for a whale-watching trip, a dog-sled ride, or glacier exploration. Daily flights bring visitors to a land that has been inhabited for over 4000 years.
Nuuk, also spelled Nûk, Danish Godthåb, capital and main port of Greenland, on the southwestern coast, near the mouth of the Godthåb Fjord, an inlet of the Davis Strait, and the mountain landmarks Sermitsiaq (“Saddle Island”) and Hjortetakken (“Deer Antlers”).
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Aug 16, 2019 · Nuuk is Greenland's capital and by far its biggest, most cosmopolitan town. It commands a grand fjord system and is backed by a splendid panorama of mountains. From carefully chosen angles the town can look picturesque, and if you haven't seen anywhere else in Greenland you may find it almost quaint.
- Early history
Nuuk, (Greenlandic:Nuup) also known by its Danish name of Godthåb (Good Hope), is the capital and administrative centre of Greenland, with a population of around 15,000 (about 1/4 the entire population of the country). It is the smallest capital in the World, which makes it very easy to walk around; as well as the most Northern. It is the Cultural, Financial, Business and Touristic Capital of Greenland.
If you would have taken a time machine to Nuuk at the times of the Vikings, you would have found a few farmsteads made of turf and mud, with snow on the rooftops and smoke coming out from the chimney, and a very light glimmer of a fire from inside, where the Norse would spend all the time in the winter along with the cattle, and you wouldn't see anything else. Going to the outer parts of the fjords, you would find some small Inuit tribe moving along the coast to the sea, for hunting and fishing, and possibly raiding the Norse for food.
This place was not too bad for having a harbour just inside a fjord but near to the sea, but it is not a good place for placing a capital of a country right here. Nuuk was first written about around when the Church and the Union of Kalmar was documenting how many Churches and villages were in Greenland, also archaeologists have found many small Viking hamlets around the fjords near Nuuk, which at the time was called the Western Settlement, the smallest of all the Viking settlements; but also many Inuit huts. At that time there wasn't a Nuuk, but small farmsteads and Inuit tribes; Nuuk became a proper town at the time of its foundation, in 1728. In 1261, the Norse of the Western Settlement, with the unhappiness of the Alþingi (The Norse Parliament), they gave the independence to the Church of Nidaros (Today Trondheim)in Norway, recognizing the King of Norway as their leader, but it preserved its own laws.
The Western Settlement was last recorded in 1341 by Ivar Bardarson to represent in the Church in Igaliku and to document the Churches in Norse Greenland. At a point, a small ice age came right during the 14th-15th centuries, which could give a clue not only for the disappearing Western Settlement, but also for all the Norse in Greenland. The temperatures during that time fallen to 6 and 8 degrees in the summer, which was absolutely freezing. During the early 1800s, the missionary Hans Egede founded the town of Nuuk as a trading post after failing in Kangeq in 1721. After a freezing winter, with many of the colonists dying or going back home to Denmark, with the few left Hans Egede founded a fort, and called Nuuk Godthåb or Cape of Good Hope. Hans Egede was trying to find the Norse that disappeared from Greenland, but at the time they thought that they only lost contact, and Hans Egede wanted to Christianize the Norse of the Western Settlement, thinking that they were still Catholic or even worst, going back to Paganism. Between 1733 and 1734, a Smallpox epidemic killed most of the population, as well affected some Inuit communities, and Hans Egede went back to Denmark. Nuuk became then seat of government of Greenland shortly after he left. In 1733, Moravian missionaries were allowed to build a church in the area of Nuuk. Moravian missions absorbed the Inuit of the Nuuk Fjord, which wanted to convert to Christianity as well as interpreters and missionaries too, also for trading seal, leather and other precious things, which for Europeans was fast becoming a powerful colony. By the 1800s, the local tribes saw a disaster in their local culture, especially around Nuuk, so an interesting and intelligent man called Hinrich Johannes Rink published the first newspaper in Greenlandic, with a Greenlander as the main editor and headquarters in Nuuk, called Attuagagdliutt.
Nuuk, like most other areas in Greenland, features an arctic climate, with normally two seasons, summer and winter. The best time to visit Nuuk is surely during Summer time which is from early June to early August, when temperatures can go up to 10°C. The current Weather Forecast can be seen at the Kalaalit Nunaata Radioa . Spring is still very cold for the average traveller it can last for 8 months! Spring temperatures are cold compared with Europe, it can go in March down to a bone cracking -5°C, but it cannot take away the magic of this city. It is advisable to take still heavy winter jackets, boots and scarves and gloves. Summer is when most local people go out of their winter mood and go down even in T-shirts to enjoy the short yearly warmth, and also to go on holiday to Southern Greenland, or better called by the local people \\"The Banana Coast\\", for the sheer freezing condition in Nuuk nearly all year. It won't be too hot because it can reach only up to 15°C. Autumn is the time between winter and summer, where temperatures go back down to 0°C or -5°C, so has to be another time for heavy winter clothing. There are some Marathons and festivals during this time. Winter is the most magical time of the year, where all over the stunning fjord of Nuuk is covered on ice, you are allowed to walk on it, but don't do if no one else is doing it, it might be not thick enough and there might be the danger of falling in. Nuuk at this time is always covered in snow, and what makes it even more magical is at Christmas Time. Many Greenlanders and Danes go back home directly from work and friends and families go and see each other and stay for dinner, copying their twin town, Copenhagen.
There is no road or rail system connecting cities within Greenland. The only practical means to travel is by boat or air. On foot is less practical and far more strenuous. Nuuk is easily accessible. There are daily flights from Kangerlussuaq and regular flights to other towns in Greenland. There is also service to Reykjavik airport in the summer. From mid-March through October there are flights from Keflavik International Airport in Iceland. There are also boats schedule to stop in Nuuk from Easter to Christmas. Nuuk has one airport (IATA: GOH), which is located about 4 km northeast of town. Arctic Umiaq Line has a passenger terminal to Maniitsoq-Sisimiut-Aasiaat-Uummannaq and Paamiut-Qaqortoq-Narsaq-Narsarsuaq.
The old colonial town is located on the east coast side of the town centre. Here you will also find the statue of Hans Egede, Hans Egede's House and church.
Greenlands National Museum, as well as the Nuuk Museum of Art both host cultural and historical exhibitions. Famous mummies, historical costumes and amulets can be found in the national Museum. The Museum of Art has over 300 paintings for visitors to enjoy. Also in Nuuk is the Culture House, which focuses mainly on contemporary art exhibitions and live performances.
Three species of whales are usually sighted in the fjord system around Nuuk. Humpback, minke and fin whales are almost always present from May to November and there is a good chance of seeing them on a cruise or sailing excursion.
With so many different sights in Nuuk, the best way to explore the city is on a guided tour. On these tours, the guides will tell you everything about the city, as well as the museum and culture center. These types of tours can usually be arranged with the local tourist offices.
Nuuk is a popular starting point for many Greenlandic cruises, most likely because there is so much to do in the capital of Greenland. Sailing in Nuuk is the ultimate opportunity to see whales, seals as well as the beautiful landscapes where the sea meets the mountains in the fjords. The fjords are often filled with icebergs as well. Sailing trips that stop in Nuuk usually sail from Ilulissat to Qaqortoq. In Nuuk, hiking enthusiasts can journey to the top of Sermitsiaq or Lille Malene, both of which are landmark mountains near Nuuk. They both take just a few hours to reach on foot and the views are amazing from the top. It is also possible to hike to the Norse Settlement Sandnæs, which is the largest Norse farmstead in Western Greenland.
There are several illuminated cross-country ski runs in Nuuk; many of the runs are several kilometers in length. Most of these runs are to the southeast of the town. Alpine skiing is also popular in Nuuk; the town has an 1100-meter lift for it ski runs. Heliskiing is also available just North of Nuuk for thrill seeking tourists.
The Nuuk Marathon is held in August, but participants need to be prepared for wind, rain and single digit temperatures. The course is particularly challenging, and has many inclines and steep slopes to push participants to their limit.
Downtown Nuuk offers a variety of locations for the enjoyment of alcoholic beverages, all within quick walking distance of each other. Nearly all pubs offer the same selection of beer (Classic on tap and Tuborg and Carlsberg in bottles) at the same (expensive) price (DKK60 for 40cl of draft), but beer from Godthaab Bryghus is also available.
Greenlandic coffee is prepared with coffee, whiskey, kahlua, whipped cream and grand marnier. It is prepared at the table in a little show and if you ask, you also get the story.
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