Ilulissat The iceberg town

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Latitude: 69º 07’ 00”
Longitude: -49º 30’ 00”

Learn to pronounce Ilulissat

Ilulissat, earlier also known as Jakobshavn, has a stunningly beautiful location at the mouth of the 34 miles (56 km) long ice fjord that is filled with gigantic icebergs from the most productive glacier in Greenland, Sermeq Kujalleq.

Located approximately 120 miles (200 km) north of the Arctic Circle it is the third largest settlement in Greenland. In 1727, Ilulissat was Greenland’s biggest settlement having more than 250 inhabitants. Today Ilulissat has a population of more than 4,500—and at least 3,500 sled dogs!

Even in a large modern town, dogsleds are an important part of transportation. Also important to llulissat is the harbor, full of fishing boats and trawlers. Tourism is a big contributor to business for the town and many different excursions are offered to see nature and culture. The majority of excursions are either by helicopter to see Sermeq Kujalleq or day trips by dog team.

Sermeq Kujalleq is the largest glacier in the entire northern hemisphere, it alone drains 7 % of Greenland’s ice sheet. The largest icebergs end up getting stuck at the mouth of the ice fjord. The icebergs don’t work free until they are so eroded that the center of gravity is altered or the tide is high enough to get out.

In 2004 Ilulissat Icefjord was admitted into UNESCO’s World Heritage List and is the center of the huge international focus on climate change. The Arctic Ocean Conference was held in Ilulissat in May of 2008.

No roads connect from other communities to Ilulissat, but it has air services as well as ferry service with Arctic Umiaq Line’s passenger ships. Cruise ships also visit Illulissat.

From the end of May until the end of July the sun is visible in the sky 24 hours a day in Ilulissat.

The famous polar explorer and anthropologist Knud Rasmussen was born in Ilulissat, as was his team mate Jorgen Bronlund who accompanied Rasmussen, and Jens Rosing, known as a notable Greenlandic artist designing the coat of arms of Greenland.

Ilulissat is home to Nagdlunguaq-48 (sports club) who play in the Coca Cola GM, Greenland's top football league. Nagdlunguaq-48, who plays all their league games in Nuuk, has won the championship ten times.

Watch “A World Beyond Imagination” featuring Ilulissat.
Music "The Future" by Simon Lynge of Ilulissat

Explore Ilulissat Fiord

Check out the web cam feed from Ilulissat

Map of Town 

Learn about UNESCO World Heritage designation of Ilulissat Fiord as a World Heritage Site

Go to the Official Town site

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