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Old Nuuk in Nuuk, Greenland

Old Nuuk is a neighborhood of Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.


Winter in Old Nuuk
It may not look like a bustling metropolis, but Nuuk is Greenland’s largest city and capital. Fewer than 56,000 people live in Greenland, and nearly a third of them reside in the modern comfort of Nuuk. Greenland is a constituent country of Denmark, and in Nuuk, the Danes have been a modernizing influence on the city, even here in Old Nuuk, a part of town established in the 1740s. Despite the Danish presence, the majority of Greenland’s population is Greenlandic Inuit. Nuuk began as a coastal fishing settlement, and much of Greenland’s commercial fishing fleet is still based out of the city’s harbor, which is also used as a shipping port.


View to the east from Herrnhut Huset, the historical building of the Moravian Brethren mission to Greenland, located on the shore of Nuup Kangerlua in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.

Old Nuuk was formerly the site of the Moravian mission of New Herrnhut (German: Neu-Herrnhut; Danish: Nye-Hernhut). The missionaries Matthaeus Stach, Christian Stach, and Christian David arrived in 1733 and had won enough converts to formally established the settlement in 1747. It was named for the community established by the Count of Zinzendorf at Berthelsdorf in Saxony which became the center of the Moravian Church. The Moravian Brethren Mission House was raised the same year and was the first church to be constructed in Greenland (at that point, the Lutheran mission at Godthaab used a chapel within the main house).

The Lutheran mission was originally based on Kangeq Island at the head of the fjord but was moved to the mainland and christened Godthaab by the royal governor Claus Paarss in 1728. This was some way from New Hernnhut, but the communities were eventually joined and, though the main settlement was the Moravians', it took the name of the Danish colony. The mission itself was transferred to the Lutheran Church of Denmark in 1900.

Today, it is part of the Nuuk Centrum district, located in the southwestern part of the town, facing the Nuup Kangerlua fjord. Several historical buildings are located in Old Nuuk:
  • Church of our Savior, the Lutheran Nuuk Cathedral (Annaassisitta Oqaluffia)
  • Moravian Brethren Mission House
  • Statue of Hans Egede

Dotted with prefabricated, single-family houses, the neighborhood is also host to a cemetery and the Kalaaliaraq Market. The Queen Ingrid's Hospital separates the area from the Nuuk Centrum, and the road to the port

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Travel Gallery: Old Nuuk in Nuuk, Greenland
Old Nuuk in Nuuk, Greenland
Old Nuuk is a neighborhood of Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.
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