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Trip Planner Europe  /  Greenland  /  Qaasuitsup Municipality  /  Ilulissat

Ilulissat

4.5
Nature & Parks · Museums · Art Museums
Ilulissat, formerly Jakobshavn or Jacobshaven, is a town in the Qaasuitsup municipality in western Greenland, located approximately 350km north of the Arctic Circle. With the population of 4,541 as of 2013, it is the third-largest city in Greenland, after Nuuk and Sisimiut. The city is home to almost as many sled-dogs as people.In direct translation, Ilulissat is the Kalaallisut word for "Icebergs". The nearby Ilulissat Icefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has made Ilulissat the most popular tourist destination in Greenland. Tourism is now the town's principal industry. The city neighbours the Ilulissat Icefjord, where there are enormous icebergs from the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere. These white giants are a source of astonishment for both residents and visitors, when the gaze drifts to the wide Disco Bay and when you walk close to the fjord.HistoryThe town was established as a trading post by Jacob Severin's company in 1741 and was named in his honor.The Zion Church (Zions Kirke) was built in the late 18th century, and was the largest man-made structure in Greenland at the time. The final resident of nearby Sermermiut moved to Ilulissat in 1850.Ilulissat DeclarationThe town was the site of the Arctic Ocean Conference in May 2008. The joint meeting between Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia, and the United States was held to discuss key issues relating to territorial claims in the Arctic (particularly Hans Island and Arktika 2007) and Arctic shrinkage produced by climate change.
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