Thousands of visitors travel to Ilulissat every year in order to satisfy themselves at first hand that this natural phenomenon is indeed world class.
What makes the location so magnificent is Sermeq Kujalleq, the biggest glacier and biggest ice stream outside Antarctica. Here you'll find a very unusual ice flow, a huge icefjord and enormous icebergs.
The figures speak for themselves: the glacier is more than 3,000 km2 in area and calves about 40 cubic kilometres of ice every year. The ice from the glaciers thus totally dominates the sea in large parts of Disko Bay and in the sea west of Greenland.
Just has to be experienced
However, facts and figures alone cannot account for what you experience when visiting this place. It just has to be seen, heard, smelt and felt - in other words, to be experienced!
With its enormous dimensions, distinctive beauty and tranquillity, the fantastic ice landscape provokes a particular mood, where you realise that all your everyday worries fade into insignificance against the perspective of the centuries that have gone by in the creation of this ice. Billions and billions of snowflakes have fallen and been compressed into Greenland's Ice Sheet, after which they've flowed together towards the ice fjord and ended up calving and breaking off into large icebergs that continue their journey out to sea.
These natural forces have been active for millennia, driven by the sun, the weather systems and the force of gravity. It's geophysics in a huge, large-scale laboratory lying at your feet as you look out from the cliff.
The settlement at Sermermiut
Cultural remnants from the Eskimo culture can also be found at the icefjord. Just one kilometre outside Ilulissat at the end of the Sermermiut valley lies the settlement of Sermermiut. The settlement was inhabited until the middle of the 19th century and contains traces of all three of the immigrant cultures that have populated and continue to populate Greenland.
Here, among the ruins of turf houses and kitchen middens and against a backdrop of icebergs, it isn't difficult to imagine life as it's been played out over the millennia: On the sea the hunters - family fathers - are making their way home from the hunt; round about the turf houses children are playing with their toys, which are miniature versions of the men's hunting tools; whilst the women are flaying seals or making food.
Earlier generations preferred this place in the same way that it continues to attract people from all over the world today. World-class natural scenery!
The icefjord and the glacier on the world heritage list
The Icefjord (Kangia) and Sermeq Kujalleq (Jakobshavn Glacier), along with the landscape and the surrounding region, were admitted onto UNESCO's list of areas of world heritage in 2004 due to its glaciological characteristics and the beauty of its landscape.
Read more on the website of the Icefjord Office of Ilulissat
Read about Icebergs here.
Read about The Ice Sheet here.
Read about Glaciers here.