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K. Kris Hirst

Hvalsey Farm and Church

By December 10, 2012

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On the southern coast of Greenland, in the region where the Vikings (or, more properly, the Norse) called the Eastern Settlement, lies the ruins of what was called in the Icelandic sagas the "loveliest church" in the island: Hvalsey Church.

Ruins of Hvalsey Fjord Church in Greenland
Ruins of Hvalsey Fjord Church in Greenland Frederik Carl Peter Rüttel

This church is part of a farmstead, occupied in the 11th through 15th centuries AD, and on September 1th, 1408, Thorstein Olafsson and Sigrid Bjornsdotter were married in it. It was the last documented event on Greenland--the colony was abandoned by mid-century.

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