Nuuk, formerly Godthåb, town (1996 pop. 12,882), Nuuk dist., W Greenland, on the Godthåbfjord. The largest town and capital of Greenland, it is the seat of the national council and of the supreme court, and it has foreign consulates. Nuuk also has radio stations and newspapers, is a fishing center, and has oil and liquid gas storage facilities. An airfield was built there in the late 1970s. The town was founded in 1721 by Hans Egede, a Norwegian missionary. The Godthåbfjord region has fine pastures and supports reindeer herds. At the head of the fjord are the remains of Vesterbygd, a 10th-century Norse settlement.
Nuuk (Godthåb) is the capital and largest city of Greenland. It is located at the mouth of the Nuup Kangerlua (Godthåbsfjorden) inlet on the west coast of Greenland, about 240 km (150 mi) south of the Arctic Circle, at approximately . It has a population of 15,047 (as of January 2007), of whom 11,862 were born in Greenland.

The city is commonly known as Godthåb ("Good Hope") in Danish, although since home rule was enacted in 1979, the official name of the city is its Greenlandic name of Nuuk. It is also the seat of government for the municipality of Nuuk, which encompasses about 100,000 km² (39,000 square miles) of Greenland.

In January of 2006, Nuuk joined with four other municipalities and now has a collective area of 635,000 square kilometers, making it one of the largest municipalities in the world by land area. However, its population of just over 15,000 people makes it also one of the smallest capital cities in the world by population.

Nuuk is home to the University of Greenland (Ilisimatusarfik). Air services to the city are operated by Air Greenland.


The site has a long history of different inhabitation: first by the ancient Inuit people known as the Saqqaq culture around 2000 B.C., later by Viking explorers in the 10th century, and shortly thereafter by Inuit peoples. Inuit and Vikings lived together in this area from around 1000 A.D. until around 1500 A.D., when human habitation suddenly stopped, most likely due to change in climate and vegetation.

The city was founded in 1728 by the Norwegian missionary Hans Egede, and given the name Godthåb (Good Hope). However, Hans Egede had arrived at a place he called Colony of Hope close to the already existing Inuit population living in Kangeq. At this time, Greenland was a Norwegian colony under the Dano-Norwegian Crown, but the colony had not had any contact with Norway proper for more than two centuries.

Today, Nuuk, like the rest of Greenland, is populated by Inuit and Danes.



Nuuk has a polar climate with cold, snowy winters and cool summers. Temperatures are below freezing during winter and stays cool in summer..

Climatic Table (°C, mm)
Location Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Nuuk -4.4 -4.5 -4.8 -0.8 3.5 7.7 10.6 9.9 6.3 1.7 -1.0 -3.3 1.74 Mean Daily High
-10.1 -10.6 -10.6 -6.1 -1.5 1.3 3.8 3.8 1.6 -2.5 -5.8 -8.7 -3.89 Mean Daily Low
39 47 50 46 55 62 82 89 88 70 74 54 756 Precipitation


Notable people from Nuuk

See also


Twin Towns

Notes and references

External links

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