Greenland - History

The island has been inhabited on and off for the last four thousand years.  The first people to ever set foot on the island were from Canada and some six different Inuit cultures have populated the island, the last being the Thule people. It was around the 9th Century that the Norse settled and the Viking period began with characters such as Erik the Red.  

The Vikings

Remnants of the Viking period are clearest in the south and west of the island with large ruins, some up to 1000 years old that were once farms, stables and storerooms.  At Qassiarsuk in the south, Brattahlid ruins can be visited.  Here a reconstruction of a Viking house can be seen. At Qaqortoq one of the first Christian churches, Hvalsey, remains. It is well preserved thought to have been built around the 14th Century.

Inuit Culture 

The Inuit culture and traditions in Greenland today, remain strong and distinct arts, crafts, traditional dress and music can be observed. Visit the most northern community of Itoqqortoormiit, one of the most remote villages on the island.   Hunting is still a large part of life and the people rely on hunting and fishing to survive in a country that has short summers and production from farming is limited. 

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