Qassiarsuk

Qassiarsuk is one of the more well-known places in the old world, at least if it goes by its Norse name, Brattahlid. Here, long into Tunulliarfik Fjord, Erik the Red decided to establish his large farm and several subsequent churches in 982 A.D., presumably after carefully investigating literally every fjord and bay in the entire region.

These are all well-known saga elements, but what is not talked about so much is the more recent theory that the wonderfully-prevalent church ruins at Qassiarsuk are not, in fact, Brattahlid. The present-day curator at Narsarsuaq Museum has spent a lot of time writing a support to this theory, proposing that Erik the Red would have chosen the absolute best location, and Qassiarsuk is not the absolute best location (though it is highly favourable). Not to mention, Vikings were like Greenlanders, assigning place names that closely described the landscape. Brattahlid means 'the steep side', which is not entirely concurrent with Qassiarsuk's landscape. 

Come investigate for yourself and see what you think.

This Norse history is one one half of the story, though. In 1924, Otto and Elisabeth (Tiipaaraq) Frederiksen revived the spot when they moved their with their loaned sheep to start the first-ever Inuit sheep farm. Little did they know how many dozens would follow suit over the course of the next few decades.

It is the unique cultural history of Inuit agriculture on the very places where Norse also practiced farming 300 - 500 years prior which earned Qassiarsuk and South Greenland its place on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


One name, several applications

Qassiarsuk is the name of the settlement that encompasses four sheep farms within the settlement boundaries, one of which, Illunnguujuk, that has a bed & breakfast for travellers. There is also the locally-owned Riding Greenland Hostel in the settlement with a small dining area for guests and walk-ins alike. Cafe Thorhildur, right in the harbour area, is a can't miss cafe - stop and get a bite to eat like the Farmer's Special and ice cream, and shop the fantastic selection of locally-made souvenirs and gifts. In total, approximately 75 persons live in the settlement Qassiarsuk. 

Qassiarsuk is also the name of Area 1 (out of five) within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a wider area than just the settlement boundary. This area encompasses the entire land westward to Tasiusaq sheep farm (home of Sermilik Hostel), northward to Qorlortup Itinnera (home of Qorlortup Itinnera Guesthouse) and southward to Inneruulalik sheep farm (home of Riding Greenland). In total, four sheep farms within Area 1 offer accommodations.

Sillisit sheep farm (home of Sillisit Hostel) lies just outside the official UNESCO World Heritage Site boundary but is a truly can't-miss spot "at the end of the line". Here, the gravel road throughout Qassiarsuk ends and leads to an idyllic sheep farm with a hostel as well as private cabins, just near the impressive red rock cliffs right at the coastline.
Copyright: Arctic Sun & Asiaq

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Bed & Breakfast Illunnguujuk

Disko Line

Kujataa UNESCO World Heritage

Leif Eriksson Marathon

Qorlortup Itinnera Guesthouse

Riding Greenland / Inneruulalik Guestfarm

Sermilik Hostel

Sillisit Hostel

Tasermiut South Greenland Expeditions