Qaqortoq city
Qaqortoq city

Qaqortoq is a town in Greenland located to the southwest.

Qaqortoq is the largest city in southern Greenland (Denmark), with 3,400 inhabitants, founded in 1775, corresponding to Qaqortup Kommunia. Qaqortoq means white. 300 of the inhabitants live in small settlements, respectively, and in 2 reindeer farms and 13 sheep farms.

Qaqortoq, has its South Greenland high school, business school and high school training center. The jobs are: City employees, Greenland only tannery shipyards, Great Greenland A / S, which seal around Greenland, and each year presents a new collection of sealskins. In the square near the port there is a fountain and a 200-year-old colonial house, now used as a museum with bla. Kayaks of the old days, found from the time in the Scandinavians, hut and the Arnannguaq statue. Tele is a museum on the history of Greenland telecommunications, from kayaking to posting on the internet today. The museum is located 70 meters above sea level with views of the entire metropolitan area. Qaqortoq has two churches: the Church of the Savior, consecrated in 1832, donated by the Danish city of the Missionary Society, it has been rebuilt several times. In the church hangs Lifeguard of M / S Hans Hedtoft, on his first trip from Copenhagen to Julianehåb he was shipwrecked during the return trip to Copenhagen. It happened in the waters south of Cape Farewell, January 30, 1959. Lifebuoys are found in Iceland, found only in the “Hans Hedtoft”. On a plateau jutting out above the old city center countryside stands today Qaqortoqs new Gertrud Rask church, consecrated on July 8, 1973. The white concrete church, is named after Hans Egede’s wife, Gertrud Rask. Altarpiece of floral motifs are derived from the flora of southern Greenland.

Qaqortoq city


Julianeshaab, a colony founded in 1775, became an important commercial center, where the Eskimos were selling their skins and fat. The trade in whale skins, blubber and meat was the colony’s main sources of income. Sheep farming started in 1900, and the area is in the nuttiden center of Greenland sheep farming. In 1840 the Royal Greenland Trade (KGH) started, two trading stations south and north of Julianeshaab, Nordprøven and Sydprøven now Narsaq and Alluitsup PAA.

18th and 19th centuries

The Danish merchant Peder Olsen Walløe (1716–1793) built a peat wall house in Qaqortoq in 1751, where he spent the winter. He had recognized the place as a good harbor and a good hunting ground. The house was still standing at least in 1914 when Louis Bobé put an inscription in memory of Walløe.

In the summer of 1775, Anders Olsen founded the Julianeshaab colony in Qaqortoq. He named her after the Danish Queen Juliane Marie, who was the widow of King Friedrich V at the time. The name later became Julianehaab. Anders Olsen only stayed in the colony until 1780 before he settled in old age as a rancher in Igaliku, where he left an important family.

In 1802 Niels Rosing Bull described the colony as a very advantageous place.

20th century

From 1911 Qaqortoq was the main town of the Julianehaab community, to which the Kangermiutsiaat residential area still belonged, but which was actually outside the community boundary. The municipality was part of the 4th district electoral council of South Greenland.

In 1919 there were 21 Europeans and 390 Greenlanders in Qaqortoq. Among the European residents were the colonial administrator, the assistant, a volunteer, a boatman, a sheep farm experimenter, a doctor, a nurse, and the pastor. Among the Greenlanders were 46 hunters, nine fishermen, a chief, two boatmen, three carpenters, a blacksmith and gunsmith, a machine smith, five cooper, two colonists, six apprentices, a midwife, a shepherd helper, two catechists and a reader. The Greenlanders lived in 58 houses. The colonial administrator’s apartment dates back to 1804 and was a 184 m² storey building with five rooms, an office and shop and storage room on the top floor. The assistant’s apartment was built in 1890, was a half-timbered building with planking, measured 119 m² and had three rooms and a kitchen. The skipper’s apartment dates from 1849 and was a stone house of 71 m² with two rooms and a kitchen. The team house was also built in 1849 and was identical in construction. There were also two provision shops from 1853 and 1914, a carpenter and cooper’s workshop from 1781, a blacksmith’s shop from 1871, a bakery from 1863, a bacon house with provisions store from the 18th century, a distillery from 1878, a brewery, a boathouse Material house, two coal houses, a barrel house, a powder house and a stable. The medical system had an old stone hospital, a pharmacy as a peat wall house, a new hospital from 1908 with 133 m² with three sick rooms for 15 patients, an operating theater and a room for the nurse, as well as a doctor’s apartment from 1886, which was 116 m² in size. The church measured 154 m² and was built in 1832. It was originally built in the Norwegian style, but was completely rebuilt in 1911. The pastor’s apartment measured 89 m² and was a storey building from 1872 with four rooms, a veranda, a kitchen, two attic rooms, a stable and an outbuilding. The school was built in 1909, was 135 m² and had two rooms, a meeting room and a mortuary chapel.

Initially, the place was completely between the two flanking mountains on the river that connects the Tasersuaq with the sea. By the 1930s, however, the place had grown so much that the two mountains were also built on. Qaqortoq was the capital of the municipality of Qaqortoq from 1950 until the administrative reform in 2009 and has been the capital of the municipality of Kujalleq ever since.


Quaqqortoq map
Quaqqortoq map

Qaqortoq lies at the tip of a jagged, narrow peninsula in southern Greenland that rises near Igaliku. In front of the city, the Qaqortup Ikera separates Qaqortoq from the island of Akia, a strait into which the Igalikup Kangerlua flows. To the east of Qaqortoq, the peninsula is cut by two straits around the island of Arpatsivik, which merge into the bay-like fjord of Qaqortukuluup Imaa. Qaqortoq is surrounded to the west and east by mountains, between which lies the great lake Tasersuaq to the northwest. The closest location is Eqalugaarsuit, 13 km southeast.


Qaqortoq has a distinct economic structure. In the city there are, among other things, a tannery and a sewing shop of the Great Greenland company, in which seal skins are processed, as well as many other small craft businesses. Traditionally, fishing and seal hunting also play a role in Qaqortoq, as does tourism. Qaqortoq is considered one of the most beautiful places in the country and the nearby medieval church ruins of Hvalsey in Qaqortukulooq also attracts tourists.

Infrastructure and supply

Quaqqortoq snow
Quaqqortoq snow

The port of Qaqortoq is located in the narrow Umiarsualivik bay, which is why no large ships can land there, only the smaller ferries of the Arctic Umiaq Line. There are therefore options for creating a seaport are being examined. Qaqortoq has a well-developed road network. Domestic traffic is carried out by boats, ships and via the Qaqortoq heliport. The construction of the airport in Qaqortoq was decided in 2018. The regional airport will be built six kilometers north of the city.

Qaqortoq has had a fully developed sewage network since 2009. The city’s garbage is dumped or incinerated in the garbage dump west of the city. Nukissiorfiit supplies Qaqortoq with electricity from the waterfall power plant in Qorlortorsuaq. Most of the heat is supplied from the residual heat from waste incineration or electricity production, as well as from oil stoves. Drinking water is obtained from the Tasersuaq by a waterworks built in 1961 and renovated in 2010. TELE Greenland is responsible for telecommunications in Qaqortoq. The submarine cable Greenland Connect ends in Qaqortoq, which enables fast internet in Greenland.


Quaqqortoq landscape
Quaqqortoq landscape

Qaqortoq is an important educational center in Greenland. The elementary school Tasersuup Atuarfia teaches over 400 students and was completely modernized in the early 2010s. It also has a special school for mentally or physically handicapped children. The city also has a branch of the Middle Greenland High School (GUX), which covers the entire municipality. There is also a branch of the Greenland vocational schools (Piareersarfik) and a branch of the Niuernermik Ilinniarfik commercial school in Nuuk, as well as one of the two Greenland universities, Sulisartut Højskoliat. There are four day-care centers in the city and the Ajasivarsik retirement home, which opened in 1996.

In Qaqortoq there are two branches of Brugseni, two of Pisiffik, three of Spar, and one Torrak and one JYSK branch each, which supply the residents with goods. There is also a hotel, a restaurant, the Qaqortoq Museum, a post office and the local government in the city. The old Annaassisup Oqaluffia (Frelserens Kirke) from 1832 has Hans Hedtoft’s lifebuoy inside, above a plaque commemorating the victims of the ship’s sinking in 1959, when the politicians Augo Lynge and Carl Egede, among others died. The younger church, named after Gertrud Rask, dates back to 1973. Qaqortoq is one of three Greenland cities with two churches. In the city center there is a fountain built by Pavia Høegh in 1932, the only one in the country. Around it lie the oldest and listed buildings in the city, the oldest of which dates from 1797. Pavia Høegh’s granddaughter Aka Høegh initiated the art project “Sten og Menneske” (German stone and man) in the mid-1990s, in which 18 Scandinavian artists created sculptures and wall reliefs carved in granite.


Qaqortoq is home to Greenland’s oldest football club. K-33 Qaqortoq is also one of the clubs with the most participation in the final round of the Greenland Football Championship. In the 1960s and 1990s in particular, the club dominated Greenlandic football and was able to win the championship eight times during this period. In the 1990s, QAA Qaqortoq also took part in the championship several times without success.


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Southern Greenland offers stunning and unexpected scenery and one of the best ways to travel is by taking the 36 hour ferry ride from Nuuk to Qaqortoq.

TRAVEL GREENLAND – Exploring Qaqortoq | Barbster360 Travel Vlog – Holland America Cruise

TRAVEL GREENLAND – Exploring Qaqortoq. Today we got off of the Rotterdam cruise ship and explored the little village of Qaqortoq in Greenland. Such a great vibrant and friendly village in Greenland.

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4K UltraHD aerial footage of my drone flights in Southern Greenland (Arctic), showing spectacular places and views including Qaqortoq, Greenlands 2nd largest city, the beautiful town of Paamiut and Narsaq, together with the Greenland Cruise Ship and a sunset over Qeqertarsuatsiaat; project finished & uploaded on 2020-06-16 by One Man Wolf Pack UltraHD Drone Footage.

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