Old Nuuk

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A portrait of the New Herrnhut mission around 1770.

Old Nuuk is a neighborhood of Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.

Old Nuuk was formerly the site of the Moravian mission of New Herrnhut (German: Neu-Herrnhut; Danish: Nye-Hernhut). The missionaries Matthaeus Stach, Christian Stach, and Christian David arrived in 1733 and had won enough converts to formally established the settlement in 1747.[1] It was named for the community established by the Count of Zinzendorf at Berthelsdorf in Saxony which became the center of the Moravian Church. The Moravian Brethren Mission House was raised the same year and was the first church to be constructed in Greenland (at that point, the Lutheran mission at Godthaab used a chapel within the main house).

The Lutheran mission was originally based on Kangeq Island at the head of the fjord but was moved to the mainland and christened Godthaab by the royal governor Claus Paarss in 1728. This was some way from New Hernnhut, but the communities were eventually joined and, though the main settlement was the Moravians', it took the name of the Danish colony. The mission itself was transferred to the Lutheran Church of Denmark in 1900.[2]

Today, it is part of the Nuuk Centrum district,[3] located in the southwestern part of the town, facing the Nuup Kangerlua fjord. Several historical buildings are located in Old Nuuk:

Dotted with prefabricated, single-family houses, the neighborhood is also host to a cemetery and the Kalaaliaraq Market. The Queen Ingrid's Hospital separates the area from the Nuuk Centrum, and the road to the port.

View from Herrnhut House
View from the Moravian Brethren Mission House to the east-south-east

Coordinates: 64°10′50″N 51°44′30″W / 64.18056°N 51.74167°W / 64.18056; -51.74167


  1. ^ Brown, William. The History of Missions: Or, Of the Propagation of Christianity Among the Heathen, Since the Reformation. B. Coles V.D.M., 1816.
  2. ^ Wittman, P. "Greenland". The Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Co. (New York), 1909. Accessed 28 Apr 2012.
  3. ^ "Lokalplaner og kommuneplantillæg for Nuuk" (in Danish). Sermersooq Municipality, Official Website. Retrieved 13 July 2010.