Nuuk (Godthåb)

Nuuk (Godthåb)

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Hans Egede was the Danish missionary who founded Nuuk. He called his settlement 'Good Hope', which is Godthåb in Danish. Later Greenland's got its local name of Nuuk. The native Inuit moved out of a neighborhood of the city, as they thought it became too crowded. Later the city's population was decimated by epidemics of smallpox and tuberculosis, so the name Good Hope didn't turn out to be what it promised.

Nowadays Nuuk has a population of only about 15,000 people, but despite its small population and the enormous amount of empty land available, most people in Nuuk live in ugly concrete apartment blocks. There is little of interest in the city, apart from some Hans Egede relics. Anything that might be of interest is located in the Greenland National Museum. There you can see several Eskimo mummies that were discovered by the Gronvold brothers in 1972. The mummies where dug up from a shallow grave not far from Qilaqitsoq and were originally buried around 1500. The museum also houses a collection of dogsleds, qajaq (kayaks), umiaqs, traditional tools, as well as Eskimo and Inuit art.

The only other interesting place in Nuuk is the Kolonihavnen, where many of the original buildings remain. It looks like an 18th-century fishing village and it is right in the center of town.

Nuuk is an excellent place to stay if you want to explore the mountainous hinterland. There are organized trips available and it is also possible to rent boats and other equipment in Nuuk.


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