As the country’s capital, Nuuk is Greenland’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, with a population of around 17,000. This may not sound like much, but the people living in Nuuk in fact make up almost a third of Greenland’s entire population – the second-largest settlement is Sisimiut, with just 5,500 residents.
The oldest building in Greenland is found here, built in 1721 by Nuuk’s founder, the Lutheran missionary Hans Egede. A stroll through the Old Nuuk neighbourhood reveals further ties to the history of the area in its cathedral and mission house, while the city’s bustling harbour serves as an echo of the marine subsistence lifestyle that sustained the first inhabitants of this land, who settled here as far back as 2200 BC. Also within the city are contemporary cultural landmarks like the University of Greenland, the Nuuk Art Museum and the Katuaq, a cultural centre designed in a modern architectural style that evokes the undulating patterns of the Northern Lights. And inescapable wherever you look is the majesty of Greenland’s natural beauty, its ice-choked fjords, the rolling greens and browns of the surrounding tundra, and looming over all, the mountain Sermitsiaq, its jagged peaks creating a magnificent backdrop for this lively and colourful city.