|Sovereign state||Kingdom of Denmark|
|First mention||15th century|
|City Status||16th century|
|• City||11.25 km2 (4.34 sq mi)|
|• Metro||47.00 km2 (18.15 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||2,010 m (6,590 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||1 m (3 ft)|
(2020 (city, settlements))
|• Density||420/km2 (1,100/sq mi)|
|• Urban||4,491 (City of Ilulissat)|
|• Metro||342 (Settlements: Ilimanaq Oqaatsut Qeqertaq and Saqqaq)|
|• Metro density||103.5/km2 (268/sq mi)|
|• Ethnicity||90.98% Greenlandic|
|Time zone||UTC-3 (WGT)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-2 (WGST)|
|Area code(s)||(+299) 94|
Ilulissat, formerly Jakobshavn or Jacobshaven, is the municipal seat and largest town of the Avannaata municipality in western Greenland, located approximately 350 km (220 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. With the population of 4,670 as of 2020, 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" (Danish: Isbjerge). 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.
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.
The 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.
The Ilulissat Declaration arose from the conference. It stated that the law of the sea provided for important rights and obligations concerning the delineation of the outer limits of the continental shelf, the protection of the marine environment (including ice-covered areas), freedom of navigation, marine scientific research, and other uses of the sea. It also said that it remained committed to this legal framework and to the orderly settlement of any possible overlapping claims.
With this existing legal framework providing a solid foundation for responsible management, there was no need to develop a new comprehensive international legal regime to govern the Arctic Ocean. The states involved would continue the developments within the Arctic Ocean and continue to implement appropriate measures to further said developments.
Geography and environment
Ilulissat has a tundra climate (ET) with long, cold winters and short, cool summers. Ilulissat is one of the driest settlements in Greenland, receiving only 271mm (10.6 inches) of precipitation. Ilulissat is also one of the sunniest settlements in Greenland, especially during summer. Interestingly, March is the coldest month in Ilulissat despite similar locations experiencing February as the coldest month of the year. March also holds the all-time record low temperature of 37.8 °C (-36 °F).
|Climate data for Ilulissat, 1961-1990|
|Record high °C (°F)||12.2
|Average high °C (°F)||−9.0
|Average low °C (°F)||−16.6
|Record low °C (°F)||−33.6
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||13
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||4.3||4.0||4.0||5.0||4.2||4.8||5.3||5.4||7.4||5.3||5.6||5.0||60.3|
|Average snowy days||7.6||7.2||7.8||8.0||6.0||0.6||0.0||0.4||3.3||5.9||7.3||7.2||61.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||0||28||93||180||279||300||279||217||120||62||30||0||1,588|
|Percent possible sunshine||0.0||13.2||25.8||37.4||41.7||41.7||38.4||39.3||30.1||21.9||23.3||0.0||26.1|
|Source 1: Danish Meteorological Institute|
|Source 2: World Climate Guide|
With 4,670 inhabitants in 2020, Ilulissat is the largest town in the Avannaata municipality. The population increased over 8% relative to 1990 levels but has remained steady since around 2003.
Ilulissat Airport is located 2.8 km (1.7 mi) to the northeast of the town center and was built in 1983. It serves Ilulissat with connections to towns in northwestern and midwestern Greenland via Air Greenland. Service to Reykjavík, Iceland, began in April 2011 via Air Iceland Connect and Air Greenland in 2017.
The Arctic Umiaq ferry links Ilulissat with Sisimiut, Nuuk, and other towns and settlements on the western and southwestern coast of Greenland.
The town is home to Nagdlunguaq-48 who play in the Greenlandic Men's Football Championship, Greenland's top soccer competition. Nagdlunguaq-48, who play all their league games in Nuuk, have won the championship ten times (as of 2016).
- Knud Rasmussen (1879–1933), noted polar explorer and anthropologist, referred to as the "father of Eskimology". Born in Ilulissat, Rasmussen was the first man to cross the Northwest Passage via dog sled. He remains well known in Greenland, Denmark and among Canadian Inuit.
- Jørgen Brønlund (1877–1907), was also a polar explorer born in Ilulissat, He grew up with Rasmussen and accompanied him, along with Harald Moltke and Ludvig Mylius-Erichsen, on the Danish Literary Expedition (1902–1904) to examine Inuit culture. In 1906 he joined Mylius-Erichsen and Peter Høegh Hagen on the Danmark-ekspeditionen to map the northernmost regions of Greenland. Jørgen Brønlund Fjord in Peary Land is named after him.
- Jens Rosing (1925–2008), a Greenlandic artist notable for designing the coat of arms of Greenland, numerous Greenlandic postage stamps, as well as illustrated children's books and water colours − was born in Ilulissat.
- Ricky Enø Jørgensen, racing cyclist.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Ilulissat is twinned or cooperating with several towns and cities, including:
Knud Rasmussen's birthplace in Ilulissat, Greenland; Knud Rasmussen's Museum
Ilulissat, old part of the city with icebergs from the Ilulissat Icefjord in the background
- "Den Store Danske: Areal fordelt efter kommune / region". Naatsorsueqqissaartarfik. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
- Naatsorsueqqissaartarfik: Naatsorsueqqissaartarfik, table BEDST3', period 2014
- "Naatsorsueqqissaartarfik: Ilulissat City/Settlements (Ilulissat Municipality, Qaasuitsup Kommunia), 2014 (table: BEDST3)". Statistics Greenland. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
- i.a., Lieber, Francis & al. Encyclopædia Americana: A Popular Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature, History, Politics and Biography. "Greenland". B.B. Mussey & Co., 1854.
- "Population by Localities". Statistical Greenland. Retrieved 7 April 2020.
- "Ilulissat". Qaasuitsup Municipality. Archived from the original on 2 June 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
- "21 World Heritage Sites you have probably never heard of". The Daily Telegraph.
- "Ilulissat Icefjord". Qaasuitsup Municipality. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- Marquardt, Ole. "Change and Continuity in Denmark's Greenland Policy" in The Oldenburg Monarchy: An Underestimated Empire?. Verlag Ludwig (Kiel), 2006.
- Kjærgaard, Kathrine (2010). "Grønland som del af den bibelske fortælling – en 1700-tals studie Archived 15 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine" ["Greenland as Part of the Biblical Narrative – a Study of the 18th Century"]. Kirkehistoriske Samlinger, 51-130. (in Danish)
- Guide to Ilulissat Museum, Ilulissat Museum
- Arctic Council (26 May 2008). "Conference on the Arctic Ocean". arctic-council.org. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
- "Greenland hosts Arctic sovereignty talks". Reuters. 27 May 2008. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- "Ilulissat Declaration" (PDF). Government of Greenland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 March 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- "UNESCO Listing". Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- Danish Meteorological Institute Archived 30 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine |language=Danish
- "World Weather Information Service – Ilulissat". Weather2Travel.com. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
- Statistics Greenland, Population in districts and municipalities January 1st 1977-2020 BEEST3
- Air Greenland, History Archived 23 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
- Jean Malaurie, 1982.
- Knud Johan Victor Rasmussen Archived 12 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine, biography by Sam Alley. Minnesota State University.
- Elizabeth Cruwys, 2003.
- Famous sons Archived 25 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
|Look up Ilulissat in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ilulissat.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Ilulissat.|
Overviews and data
- Avannaata Official municipal and city website
- Geographic data related to Ilulissat at OpenStreetMap
- Satellite image of Retreating Terminus of the Ilulissat Glacier at the NASA Earth Observatory.