A little over a thousand years ago (985 AD), a group of Norsemen left Iceland to settle in Greenland. Their leader was Erik the Red, a Norwegian who had been exiled from Norway, and later from Iceland as well. His red hair and beard earned him the nickname Erik the Red, but some say that his violent temper was another reason for the moniker. Erik the Red had sailed west from Iceland and discovered a “green land” with lush, verdant valleys and deep fjords. He returned three years later with 14 ships and settled in the bay where Qassiarsuk is situated today. Erik named his chieftain’s seat Brattahlíð, meaning "steep hill" in Old Norse. And soon after, the Norsemen established a flourishing community along the fjord.
Farming is still the main occupation in Qassiarsuk and the local sheep farmers in the area cultivate the same fields and graze their animals on the same hillsides that the Norsemen used more than a thousand years ago. We start with a guided walking tour through the village, before making our way over to the open-air museum. Reconstructions of Erik the Red's farm and his wife Tjodhilde's church were erected in 2000. Museum guides in Norse-style clothing will show you around and tell you about the Vikings and their daily life.