St Nicholas Cathedral

Igaliku / Gardar Greenland

[Roman Catholic]

Christianity was brought to Greenland by Viking Leif Eriksson in AD 999. Eventually there were sixteen churches and early in the 12th century a petition was sent for a bishop. In 1126 a red sandstone cathedral was built, 84 x 60 feet, and dedicated to the patron of seafarers, St Nicholas of Myra. The cathedral was founded by Greenland's first bishop, Arnaldur. Excavation of the site began in 1926. The oldest remains contained 25 walrus skulls and 5 narwhales, indicating that it was built on the site of a pagan shrine.