Monday, 10 November 2014

Maniitsoq , ex- Sukkertoppen,
the Venice of Greenland

Maniitsoq (formerly Sukkertoppen ) is a town in western Greenland, the sixth-largest town in te country.

Maniitsoq is located between the two larger towns of Nuuk and Sisimiut.

Coordinates:  65°25′ N, 52°54′ W
[some 120 Km south of the Arctic Circle]

Population:  ~ 2 800 (6th largest town in Greenland)

The town is idyllically placed in the middle of an archipelago, surrounded by fjords and mountains.

Many-coloured houses are scattered up the slope from the sea.

Maniitsoq is one of the most spectacular towns in Greenland, mainly because of its framing by an astonishing scenary.

The local people like to see Maniitsoq as the Venice of the Arctic, as it's built on several islands connected by a few little bridges over the water inlets.

Water is always present.

But in winter this is a snow-white kind of Venice.

Another typical feature is the long staircases climbing uptown from the waterfront area. There are level streets leading along downtown, but to go up the steep slope you must take the staircases.

View at the top :

229 steps to climb...

The old stone church, from 1874, is iconic and one of the best buildings in town.

The Museum consists of four buildings, dating from 19th century colonial era.

These buildings originally stood in the center of town, but in the early 1970s they were moved to the north side of town to leave space for the new fish factory.

At right, B-6,known as 'gingerbread house', and which today houses the museum's art collection.The permanent exhibition consists mainly of art and crafts from local artists.

The Museum offers a good insight into the former settlements and colonial period, and also contains an exhibition of costumes, art and history.

The town was founded as Sukkertoppen , in 1782, by Danish colonists, meaning Sugarloaf, as the nearby mountain suggests. Until 1940, Sukkertoppen was the largest town in Greenland !

The fish farm and factoryare the main economic activity, but tourism has dramatically increased in recent years: the proximity to the Arctic Circle is one of the town's attractions.

Hotel 'Toppen Garni', Maniitsoq

Ideal for kayaking around the islands and into the fjords !

The crater

In July 2012, the existence of a 100 km wide crater centered about 55 km south-east of Maniitsoq was proposed by scientists. The crater structure is believed to be around three billion years old. If confirmed as an impact crater, this crater would be the oldest and largest on earth.

"A 100 km-scale, circular region centered at 65° 15′ N, 51° 50′ W (...) comprises a set of highly unusual geological features that were created during a single event involving intense crushing and heating and are incompatible with crustal orogenic processes."

The deformed granite, spread throughout an area measuring 35 by 50 kilometres, is centred on the supposed impact site. Such large-scale deformation of granite could not have happened over such a large area through any known terrestrial geologic process.

Finnefjeld mountain, 1050 m high, is believed to be the crushed core of the asteroid.

The most compelling evidence is the presence of granite-like rocks that are crushed, melted and pulverised in a way that can only be explained by a sudden, massive impact.

Huge, tremendous, catastrophic event...


Quiet nights in Maniitsoq.