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Greenland (General)
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About Location

Sisimiut is a town in central-western Greenland, located on the coast of Davis Strait,approximately 320 km (200 mi) north of Nuuk.It is the administrative center of the Qeqqata Municipality and the second-largest town in Greenland, with a population of 5,460 people as of 2010.The site of the present-day town has been inhabited for the last 4,500 years.The first inhabitants were the Inuit peoples of the Saqqaq culture, Dorset culture, and then the Thule people, whose descendants form the majority of the current population. Artifacts from the early settlement era can be found throughout the region, favored in the past for its plentiful fauna, particularly the marine mammals providing subsistence for the early hunting societies.The population of modern Greenlanders in Sisimiut is a mix of the Inuit and Danish peoples, who first settled in the area in the 1720s, under the leadership of the Danish missionary, Hans Egede.

Today, Sisimiut is the largest business center north of the national capital of Nuuk and is one of the fastest growing towns in Greenland.Fishing is the principal industry in Sisimiut, although the town has a growing industrial base.KNI and its subsidiary Pilersuisoq, a state-owned chain of all-purpose general stores in Greenland, have their base in Sisimiut.Architecturally, Sisimiut is a mix of traditional, single-family houses, and communal housing, with apartment blocks raised in the 1960s during a period of town expansion in Greenland. Sisimiut is still expanding, with the area north of the port, on the shore of the small Kangerluarsunnguaq Bay reserved for a modern suburb-style housing slated for construction in the 2010s.Several professional and general schools are based in Sisimiut, providing education to the inhabitants of the town and to those from smaller settlements in the region.The new Taseralik Culture Center is the second Cultural Center to be established in Greenland, after Katuaq in Nuuk.

The town has its own bus line,and is the northernmost year-round ice-free port in the country, a shipping base for western and northwestern Greenland.Supply ships head from the commercial port towards smaller settlements in more remote regions of Uummannaq Fjord,Upernavik Archipelago,and as far as Qaanaaq in northern Greenland.The town airport is served by Air Greenland, providing connections to other towns on the western coast of Greenland, and through Kangerlussuaq Airport, to Europe.


How to Reach

By Air

Sisimiut Airport is located 4.1 km (2.5 mi) to the northwest of the town, at the mouth of the Kangerluarsunnguaq Bay. Before the airport was opened in the 1990s,Sisimiut had been served by the now-closed heliport, located on the eastern outskirts of the town, in the Sisimiut valley.The airport has a short, 799 m (2,621 ft) runway suitable only for STOL airplanes.Travel outside of Greenland is routed with a change of planes at Kangerlussuaq Airport. Air Greenland operates scheduled services to Nuuk, Maniitsoq, and Ilulissat.Taxis as well as an infrequent town bus service connect the airport with the center of Sisimiut.

By Ferries

For most of the year, Sisimiut is served twice-weekly by coastal ferries of Arctic Umiaq Line which link the communities of the western coast.There is also a weekly Royal Arctic Line ferry to Itilleq and Sarfannguit.The port in Sisimiut is the northernmost year-round ice-free port in Greenland,serving as the country's primary maritime base north of Nuuk. Supply ships from the port head north, serving the entire coast, from the Uummannaq Fjord region, through Upernavik Archipelago, to Qaanaaq in the far north.M/S Akamalik, one of the largest ships in the fleet of Royal Greenland, is based in Sisimiut. Home to the first shipyard of Greenland dating from 1931,the port also handles more than 50 cruise liners per year.The local kayak club operates at the bay harbor east of the port.

By Road

Roads in Sisimiut, including the road to the airport, are surfaced, but there is no road linking Sisimiut to any other settlement. In the 2000s construction of the 170 km (110 mi) road to Kangerlussuaq was discussed for several years without resolution.The road would have been the first of its kind in Greenland, connecting two settlements, and reducing the need for passenger exchange at Kangerlussuaq Airport, the Air Greenland hub. The town has its own bus network.In winter dog sled routes are a key transport link to settlements further north.

Key places to visit
Sisimiut Museum, Taseralik Culture Center, Kayaking, Arctic Wildlife


Places to Visit

Sisimiut Museum

Located in a historical building near the harbor, Sisimiut Museum specializes in Greenlandic trade, industry and shipping, with artifacts based on ten years of archaeological research and excavations of the ancient Saqqaq culture settlements near the town, offering an insight into the culture of the region of 4,000 years ago.The museum also hosts a collection of tools and domestic items collected during 1902-22, an inventory from the old Church with the original altarpiece dated to approximately 1650, and paintings from the 1790s.The peat house reconstruction of an early 20th century Greenlandic residence with domestic furniture is part of an outdoor exhibition.The exhibition includes the remains of a kayak from the 18th century and the Poul Madsen collection, a collection of handcraft, art, house items and ethnographic objects compiled over fifty years.The Greenlandic stone exhibition is housed in the Bygge og Anlægsskolen building.

Taseralik Culture Center

Is a cultural center in Sisimiut, a town in western Greenland, the second-largest town in the country.Located in the eastern part of Sisimiut, on the shore of the small Nalunnguarfik lake, Taseralik is the second such center in Greenland, after Katuaq in Nuuk, the capital.Greenlandic handicrafts, created in a workshop located in an old warehouse on the old harbor, are sold in the Greenland Travel Incoming's Arts n' Craft, and in several small shops along the main street. Greenland stones and sealskin products are created in the Natseq and Panigiit workshops.


Today in Greenland the kayak is first and foremost an instrument used for sport, even though there are still certain areas, especially in North Greenland and the Thule district, where the kayak is used for hunting.For many people this word, from the Greenlandic word Qajaq, brings to mind images of ice-filled waters and human hardship, but also of striking natural scenery with vast landscapes, where the midnight sun shines in the north and casts a golden glow on the water in front of the hunters' arctic vessel.

Arctic Wildlife

The polar bear is the biggest predator in Greenland.The big and mighty animal is a rare visitor to inhabited areas, and is mostly seen in remote grounds.On the other hand there are good chances of seeing whales, musk oxen and reindeer, as well as mountain hares and arctic foxes.Around 50 species of bird breed in Greenland and amongst them the white-tailed eagle is the most beautiful with its wingspan of about 2,5 metres.It is, however, rarely seen opposed to ptarmigans, eiders, kittiwakes and auks, witch are also regarded as delicatessen in Greenlandic cuisine.The raven is also frequently encountered.A Greenlandic legend tells that the raven comes with light after darkness.

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