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Nuup Kangerlua fjord
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About Location

Nuuk is the capital of Greenland, the northernmost capital in Europe and the largest city in Greenland.Located on an island in the Nuup Kangerlua fjord, the city lies on the eastern shore of the Labrador Sea and on the west coast of Sermersooq.Nuuk is a larger cultural and economic center for Greenland.The capital is nearest to the cities of Iqaluit and St. John's in Canada and Reykjavik in Iceland.Nuuk is the seat of government for the Sermersooq municipality.It has a population of 15,469 (as of January 2010),making it one of the smallest capital cities in the world by population.

The site has a long history of different inhabitation.Nuuk was first occupied by the ancient pre-Inuit, Paleo-Eskimo people of the Saqqaq culture as far back as 2200 BC when they lived in the area around the now abandoned settlement of Qoornoq.For a long period it was occupied by the Dorset culture around the former settlement of Kangeq but they departed from Nuuk district before 1000 AD. The Nuuk area was later inhabited by Viking explorers in the 10th century, and shortly thereafter by Inuit peoples.Inuit and Norsemen both lived with little interaction in this area from around 1000 AD until around 1500 AD, when Norse habitation stopped, most likely due to change in climate and vegetation.

The city was founded in 1728 by the Danish-Norwegian missionary Hans Egede who had arrived in 1721, and given the name Godthab (Good Hope).Hans Egede had arrived at a place close to the already existing Inuit population living in Kangeq.At that time, Greenland was a Norwegian colony under the Dano-Norwegian Crown, but the colony had not had any contact with Norway proper for almost three centuries.King Frederick IV sent three frigates to Greenland soon after Egede established it, bringing personnel and materials to build a fort. Most of the personnel consisted of convicts and prostitutes and most died within the first year of scurvy and other ailments. In 1733 to 1734 a smallpox epidemic killed most of the native population as well as Hans Egede's wife.Hans Egede went back to Denmark in 1736 after 15 years in Greenland leaving his son Paul Egede to continue his parent's work.Moravian missionaries took over the area.

During World War II, a reestablishment of Greenlandic identity began.The Greenlanders shared a common written language and subsequently assembled a council under Eske Brun's leadership in Nuuk. In 1940, an American and a Canadian Consulate were established in Nuuk.Under new regulation in 1950, the two councils amalgamated into one.The Countryside Council was abolished on 1 May 1979 when the city was renamed Nuuk by the Greenland Home Rule government.Like the rest of Greenland, Nuuk is populated today by both Inuit and Danes.Currently, over a third of Greenland's total population lives in the Nuuk's Greater Metropolitan area.

How to Reach

By Air

Nuuk has an international airport located 4 km (2.5 mi) to the northeast of the town centrum. Built in 1979, it is a focus city for Air Greenland, which is also headquartered in Nuuk,and operates its technical base at the airport.

By Ferries

For most of the year, Nuuk is served twice-weekly by coastal ferries of Arctic Umiaq Line which link the communities of the western coast.

By Road

The main street in Nuuk is Aqqusinersuaq, with a number of shops and the 140-room Hotel Hans Egede.The majority of the 72 buses and 2,570 cars owned in Greenland (as of 2004) operate in Nuuk.Nuup Bussii provides frequent bus services to the outlying districts of Nuussuaq and Qinngorput.

Key places to visit
Katuaq Culture Centre, Nuuk Art Museum, National Museum of Greenland, National Library of Greenland, Greenland Centre for Performing Arts


Places to Visit

Katuaq Culture Centre

Is a cultural centre used for both concerts cinema, exhibitions and conferences.It was designed by schmidt hammer lassen, it was inaugurated on February 15, 1997.Katuaq contains two auditoria, the larger one seating 1,008 people and the smaller one 508.The complex also contains an art school, library, meeting facilities, administrative offices and a cafe.

Nuuk Art Museum

Nuuk Art Museum is the only private art and crafts museum in Greenland.The museum contains a notable collection of paintings, watercolors, drawings and graphics, figures in soapstone, ivory, and wood, with many items collected by the businessman Svend Junge.Of particular note is a collection of over 150 paintings by Emanuel A. Petersen.

National Museum of Greenland

The National Museum of Greenland is located in Nuuk and was one of the first museums established in Greenland, inaugurated in the mid 1960s.The museum is affiliated with the Danish National Museum which has expanded its collections. The museum has many artifacts related to archaeology, history, art, and handicrafts and also has information about ruins, graveyards, buildings etc.

National Library of Greenland

The National Library of Greenland in Nuuk is the largest reference library in the country, devoted to the preservation of national cultural heritage and history.The library holdings are split between the public library in the town centrum, and Ilimmarfik, the campus of the University of Greenland. As of 1 January 2008, there are 83,324 items in the library database at Ilimmarfik.

Greenland Centre for Performing Arts

The Greenland Centre for Performing Arts in Nuuk was opened in 1997, as a joint project between the Greenland Government, the Nuuk Municipal Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers.The centre contains a theatre,an exhibition hall and conference facilities and a cafe.

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