Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg), a northern beauty

Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg) , the second largest city of Greenland, is elegant, colourful and rich in heritage.

With about 6000 inhabitants, it’s the most northern ice-free town in the island´s west coast.

The town center is characterized by its colonial age buildings with the old blue church, the old shop, colonial residences, an old forge.

Sisimiut was founded in 1756 as a mission and trading station, based on whaling.

The old town is now a museum.

The Bethel blue church is Greenland’s second oldest church dating back to 1775

Sisimiut is situated between hillsides, and the small houses are built on hills.

It is also the northernmost limit of winter navigation by sea, and the southernmost limit of winter dog sledding.

The Sisimiut Museum of history, as well as a special museum of trade, shipping and industry, is situated in an old 18th century building.

The Sod House museum next to the churches, is a house with hick walls built of piled up sod gathered on the tundra.

The harbour is opened all year. A major factory, the Royal Greenland fish and shrimp plant in Sisimiut, is an important source of revenue for Greenlandic product.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Las Lajas Cathedral: at the end of the world

Las Lajas Cathedral, built in 1916, is located in remote southwest Colombia, deep down in a gorge of the Guaitara River (close to Columbia’s border with Ecuador) .

This must be one the most fairy tale beautiful pilgrimage sites in the world. A scene of magic splendor, the cathedral clings precariously to the side of a sheer cliff, above a swiftly running river in a mountain gorge.

Lingering mists hide the church in the rain season. In concert with the rumbling of flowing waters church bells echo across the mountain valleys.

Las Lajas was named after a type of flat sedimentary rock called Laja which is similar to the floor tiles found in the Andes Mountains.