Viking Erik the Reds Greenland estate Brattahlid

Brattahlíð (anglicised as Brattahlid) was Erik the Red’s estate in the Eastern Settlement Viking colony he established in south-western Greenland toward the end of the 10th century. The present settlement of Qassiarsuk, about 5 km (3 mi) from the community of Narsarsuaq, is now located in its place. It is about 96 km (60 mi) from the ocean, at the head of a fjord, and hence sheltered from ocean storms. Erik and his descendants lived there until late in the 15th century. The name Brattahlid means “the steep slope”.

At Brattahlíð stood probably the first church in the New World: Þjóðhildarkirkja (Thjodhild’s church, actually a small chapel). A recent reconstruction of this chapel now stands at a distance from the actual site, along with a replica of a Norse longhouse. (Erik himself did not profess Christianity, but according to legend his wife, Þjóðhildur, converted him on his deathbed.





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