Todya approximately 2,150 people live in Narsaq municipality, with 1,800 in Narsaq town and the rest distributed between the three small settlements at
Qassiarsuk, Igaliku, and around the airport of Narsarsuaq. A number of
people also live on sheep farms spread-over the fjords.
|THE BRATTHALID - GARDAR AREA:|
Narsarsuaq is the junction for air traffic in and out of South Greenland. In summer there are several weekly flights to Denmark, while helicopters and boats handle the further transport to towns and settlements. Around 160 people live in the airport area, which also includes a hotel hotel, a youth hostel, grocery shop, café and nurse station.
The mountains surrounding Narsarsuaq rise up to a height of 400 or 500 metres. The ice cap is 9 kilometres away - 3 or 4 hours on foot. The ice can also be experienced by sailing to Qooroq Fjord where the boats sail very close to the glacier, which occasionally "discards" gigantic icebergs into the water.
The settlement of Qassiarsuk
The remains of the farms and churches of the Norse are found throughout South Greenland. You will understand why Erik the Red called this country Greenland as you stand beside his farmstead in the settlement of Qassiarsuk. The green hills undulate along the blue fjord as far as the eye can see. The ruins from the Norse area are clearly visible in Qassiarsuk , as are the reconstructions of Erik the Red's farmstead and Thodhildur's church. Gravel roads connect Qassiarsuk with the sheep farms in the area which also offer overnight accommodation.
The settlement of Igaliku
The locality was named Gardar by the Norse, and an episcopal residence was founded here in 1126. The ruins of the cathedral and bishop's palace have been renovated in recent years, and today constitute a beautiful memorial to Greenland's Norse Era.
The settlements in general
Life in the South Greenland settlements has its very own pace. The settlements usually have a small shop that is supplied twice a week with goods from the nearest town. Naturally, there is also a church, and in a few places the schoolroom is located in one end of the church. The catechist performs the church service on Sunday and teaches the children on weekdays. Transport to and from the settlements is made by the family's motor boats.
In the fjord settlements where the climate is warmer, sheep farming and farming are common while fishing and seal hunting dominate life in the outermost settlements along the coast.
The settlements vary in size from less than forty inhabitants in Igaliku, to around 500 in Alluisup Paa.
The ruin of Hvalsey church
The largest and best preserved ruin is the church-ruin at Hvalsey near Qaqortoq - the neighbour municipality of Narsaq. A wedding in Hvalsey Church in 1408, described in annals kept in the Vatican, is the last account of Norsemen in Greenland. After that there is only an intriguing silence.
Greenland's mildest climate is found in South Greenland where summer temperatures at the upper end of the fjords can get up to 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.