We are owned by Greenland
Nobody knows Greenland better than us

Qeqertarsuaq 250 Years

Inspiration / Articles / Qeqertarsuaq 250 Years

The Beautiful Town Celebrates 250 Years

The Qeqertarsuaq area has been inhabited for almost 5,000 years, but in 1773, it officially became a town when the Danish colony Godhavn was established. Jens Rosendahl was present for the anniversary as he was giving a lecture at the museum, where he has been a volunteer for several periods.


Qeqertarsuaq is located at the southern end of the island of the same name, also known internationally as Disko Island. It’s a nice town, but like many of Greenland’s smaller towns, there has been some migration to the larger and more active towns, as many smaller towns have lost their fish factories. It is fitting that tourism has begun to grow, and Qeqertarsuaq is one of the most beautifully situated towns in Greenland with unique experiences.

Read more about the town of Qeqertarsuaq


Jens Rosendahl gives us a nice account of the day on July 21, 2023, when the 250 years were celebrated. Jens also took all the photos for this article.


All the town’s flags are raised, people arrive in festive clothes and national costumes, and the heavy rain that earlier in the week destroyed the bridge over the Red River has stopped for a while, replaced by dry weather with sporadic sunshine. The place is Qeqertarsuaq, “the Pearl of Disko Bay,” and the occasion is the town’s 250th anniversary, and of course, we will celebrate it.

Community Singing and Cannons

The day begins at 8 am with a welcome by the mayor of the municipality, Ane Hansen. The museum’s manager, Linda G. Ostermann, discusses the town’s founder Svend Sandgren. This is followed by community singing, and the three old cannons in front of the old colonial governor’s house show that they are still alive. They deliver three mighty salutes that resound against the steep mountainsides of Lyngmarksfjeldet and Apostelfjeldet. A great start to the town’s anniversary!

After a service in the town’s beautiful church, also known as “Our Lord’s Ink Pot,” there is a communal breakfast in the sports hall.

Opening of a New Exhibition

The museum is the focal point for the rest of the day’s activities. We start with an official opening of the museum’s new exhibition about the town’s time as a whaling town and its founding in 1773. There are many participants at the opening, and afterward, there is coffee in front of the museum, for which Hotel Disko Island has donated three large layer cakes. At the same time, other town residents have created tasty Greenlandic home-baking.

The town’s museum is housed in the old Governor’s residence, next to the King’s Bridge and the two whale jaw bones that form the “gateway to the world,” which is true no matter which way you pass through it.

Two New Lectures

In the evening, there are two lectures at the museum, one by the museum’s director, who talks about the exhibition about the founding of the city organized for the day. The second talk is an account from my side about Philip Rosendahl’s 23 years in Greenland, where he ended up spending the last 14 years as Governor of North Greenland in the town of Qeqertarsuaq, which at the time served as the capital of North Greenland.

Philip Rosendahl was my grandfather, so I traveled to Qeqertarsuaq this summer to participate in the town’s 250th anniversary.

Love of Greenland

This was Jens’ third trip to Greenland in the last four years, and all times he has visited Qeqertarsuaq. Last year, he was on a six-month trip to Greenland with his wife, Lene, where they also visited Nuuk, Qasigiannguit, Aasiaat, Ilimanaq, Uummannaq, Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat.

Greenland Travel’s department for tailor-made travel arranged Jens’s trips.


Do you need help?

If you have questions about Qeqertarsuaq, then ask one of our travel experts. Then you will be a step closer to your dream trip coming true.

We will answer within 24 hours on weekdays.

You can also call us at: +45 3313 1011