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 that had been exiled from Norway, and later on Iceland as well. The red hair and beard gave him the nickname Erik the Red, but some also say that his ill temper might have been another reason for this name. Three years earlier Erik the Red sailed west and had discovered a wonderful land with lush, green valleys and deep fjords. He returned 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 had established a flourishing community in the fjord.
A meeting place between Norse culture and modern day Greenland
Farming is still the main occupation in Qassiarsuk and the sheep farmers in the area cultivate the same fields, and let their animals graze in the same hillsides that the Norsemen used more than a thousand years ago. First there will be a guided walk through the village, before we walk 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 dresses will show you around and tell you about Vikings and their daily life.