In the Ilimanaq village there are two protected buildings from the 1700’s, the manager’s home and the old grocery store, taken over in 2014 by Realdania By og Byg. Together with Qaasuitsup Municipality and World of Greenland, Realdania By og Byg now realises a project that will communicate the area’s natural and cultural heritage. The purpose is to create a sustainable basis for growth and progress for the village by preserving and reusing the cultural heritage
and creating a point of departure for tourism, new workplaces in the area. The project will also create knowledge regarding the restoration and reuse of historical buildings for the Greenlandic building and architect industry.
Ilimanaq is located 15 kilometres south of Ilulissat Icefjord. The name means ”the place of expectation”. The village is one of the oldest in Greenland, founded as a mission station around 1741 and then a whaling station under the name Claushavn, named after a Dutch whaler from the period. Ilimanaq is located close to the area that on UNESCO’s world heritage list is built as an incomparable Greenlandic natural and cultural environment.
The two historical houses were built by master carpenters J.C. Suhr in Copenhagen at the last half of the 1700’s. According to custom, the buildings were constructed and built in Denmark, taken apart, shipped to Greenland and rebuilt on their current sites in Ilimanaq. Storeyed houses were often produced in a series. In 1777, around 12 copies were produced in Denmark. 11 were presumably sent to Greenland and one to Iceland. The houses were typically placed at new whaling facilities.
The grocery store was erected as a storehouse and shop for the Royal Greenlandic Trading Company probably in 1777. The shop has its original inventory, which Realdania By og Byg is also now restoring.
Photo: Jan Knudsen / Realdania
Words by Realdania – Read more and see photos from the project at www.realdania.dk