Wednesday 6th September 2023  

We must have had a good work-out yesterday because we missed breakfast!

By the time we were in expedition mode we were on approach to the small settlement of Sisimiut 75km north of the Arctic Circle.

We had a chance to go walk-about around the old settlement. The settlement used to be on an island when inhabited by Norse or earlier peoples.

The original settlement was built from flat-pack buildings from Scandinavia and the colour of the buildings indicated, to those who did not speak Norse, what the building was used for.

For example:

  • church or store – red
  • hospital – yellow
  • fishermen – blue
  • police – black

Approval was needed to use other colours, though today there has been some relaxation of the rules.

The ‘new church’ was consecrated in 1929 and enlarged in 1988, using the same method of lengthening ships, by cutting part of the church off and introducing a new section.

The original church, which is now part of the museum complex, dates from 1773 and was paid for by the congregation with 60 barrels of whale oil.

The harbour has been used for centuries and today factory ships unload their catch for export around the world. It is Greenland’s northernmost year-round ice-free port. Sisimiut was originally an Inuit settlement but traded as a trading place between Greenlandic settlers and the Dutch, English and Scottish whalers and traders who arrived here in the 17th century. Today it is one of the largest shrimping centres of Europe processing more than 10,000 tonnes each year.

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