first European settler in Greenland was Icelander, Eric the Red, in 986
AD after he had been exiled for 3 years from Iceland.
He settled near Qagssiarsuk,
across Erik's Fjord from Narsarsuaq and named his farm Brattahlid. This
was 200 years before the Inuit people entered Greenland from the north
west. From Greenland the Vikings sailed across to North America and
landed in Canada (Newfoundland) nearly 500 years before Christopher
Columbus sailed across the Atlantic.
The Vikings survived in Greenland for about 500 years - by 1500 they
had all vanished.
Recent research seems to support the theory that climate change
and an inability to adapt resulted in starvation and the end of the
settlements in Greenland.
There was a prolonged cold period 1343-1362 which may have precipitated
the end of the Western settlement with the Eastern settlement lasting up
to 100 years longer.
The ruins of Eric the Red's settlement and of numerous other Norse
settlements in Greenland are still visible today.
Greenland's population is
near 60,000, with the capital Nuuk having about 15,000 people.
at least 1993 the number of tourists visiting Greenland was relatively
small, perhaps as low as 20,000 pa.
Some people go there for cross country walking, others do day tours as I
It is expensive to get there, but definitely worth the effort.
pictures on this page were all taken in August 1993.
Aerial view on approaching southern Greenland from Iceland
Norse settlement ruins (stable) at Igaliko.
Ruins at Brattahlid
Flowers near the glacier Kiagtūt sermiat,
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This page was
created on 09 June 1997 and last updated on 26 November 2003. © 2003
Robert D Blair.
View from Narsaq across Narsaq Sund
In Erics Fjord at the junction with Qōroq
Ruins at the site of Eric the Red's settlement,
Brattahlid, with Narsarsuaq in the distance across the water.
Ruins of the first church at Brattahlid, built for Thjodhilde, wife of
Eric the Red.
Narsarsuaq is over the fjord from Brattahlid.
Near the glacier Kiagtūt
sermiat, near Narsarsuaq
pictures of Greenland
For pictures of glaciers and ice, including some aerial views.
information and pictures of Greenland can be found at: