For the past millennium, the southern region of Greenland has beckoned explorers to its surprisingly fertile shores. Starting around the year 1000 C.E., Norse people began to settle here, followed not long after by Christian missionaries. Located near the Hvalsey Fjord is a reminder of their presence: the ruins of the Hvalsey Church. Although time and the elements have destroyed the roof and altar, the walls of the structure remain, including the one that enclosed the churchyard until the building was abandoned in the 15th century.
By Chris Haines
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