L'Anse aux Meadows
L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site is a Viking settlement from around 1000 A.D. - the earliest example of European presence in North America (except Greenland).
Temporate housing and workshops were built by Norse settlers, in similar style to those in Norse Greenland and Iceland.
This archaelogical site is located on the northernmost tip of the island of Newfoundland, in an area previously inhabited by native peoples. The remains of this Viking village were discovered in 1960, and subsequently excavated until 1976. Besides the remains of the buildings, artefacts such as an oil lamp were found.
Jay T - October 2016
Around 1000 AD a group of Vikings established a village on the northern peninsula of Newfoundland in an area now called L'Anse aux Meadows -- a pre-Columbian European settlement in the western hemisphere commemorated in exactly zero national holidays in North America. This historical event was not forgotten by UNESCO (or Canada), however, and L'Anse aux Meadows was selected as one of the first 12 World Heritage Sites in 1978. After I learned about this Viking settlement in North America in school, I made sure to visit when I took a road trip with my father through Atlantic Canada in summer 2006. The museum at L'Anse aux Meadows offered a comprehensive and informative history of viking exploration in North America, but the highlight of the visit was the archaeological site outside the museum. All that remains of the village are mounds where buildings used to stand; however, sod houses from the settlement have been recreated, and Viking interpreters offer tours explaining how Norsemen lived 1,000 years in the past. It takes a considerable effort to travel to L'Anse aux Meadows, but the Viking history on display and the extremely scenic coastlines of Newfoundland make this an unforgettable site to visit.
Logistics: L'Anse aux Meadows requires an automobile to visit. The settlement is approximately five hours north of Deer Lake Regional Airport and at least seven hours north of the Port aux Basques ferry terminal on Newfoundland.
Glenn - September 2010
I first heard about Dr. Instad's excavations of a possible Norse site in the New World in "newsreels" (remember those!)in 1960 when I was 14. I knew at that moment that I HAD to make a pilgrimage there one day - and so I did so in 2007 to celebrate my 60th birthday. It was fascinating to walk through the ruins and look out on the Bay and see what the Norse saw 1000 years ago, and to realize that Lief Ericson had been here. The Visitor Center was excellent, as was the hospitality of the local people we met. I only wish the Museum/Visitor Center had small replicas of the sculpture commemorating the contact between the Norse and Native Americans-representing the final leg of the circumnavigation of the globe that had taken place starting with Homo sapiens' African Diaspora ~60,000 years ago.
On the way back to the U.S. Gros Morne national park was a geological wonderland.
I'm definitely going back - this time with bicycle, kayak and camping gear on my Element.
--Glenn Chinery, GChinery@aol.com
Emilia Bautista King - February 2006
My husband and I went here in August 2005 and were greatly surprised by the well-organized Visitor Centre and knowledgeable tour guides. Make sure to watch the film regarding the site's discovery by Dr. Helge Ingstad and his wife, Dr. Anne Stine. A meal at the nearby Norseman Restaurant is also a must!
Visited in May, 2004 and even though the Visitor's Center was still closed, we were able to tour the huts and wander the coastline. The site in Newfoundland is allegedly where Lief Ericcson landed from Greenland. 2 sod huts have been completely restored and authentically furnished. A blacksmith's hut is also restored. The foundations of 6-8 other huts remain. The coastline is spectacular complete with mammoth icebergs, rocky cliffs and unusual plant life. Lots of reasonable places to stay in St. Anthony and the drive up from Gros Morne while 5 hours is beautiful.
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Full name: L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
2000 - Name changeFrom "L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Park" to "L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site"
1978 - InscribedReasons for inscription
The site has 9 connections.
- Peat this coastal site which is loacated on a coastline covered by peat bogs" (AB) and "a wooden structure covered with turf taken fran the peat bog" (AB)
- Historical Food Remains Butternuts
- Built in the 11th century The settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows has been dated to approximately 1000 years ago, an assessment that agrees with the relative dating of artifact and structure types. This is about the same time as the establishment of Vinland (1003)
WHS on Other Lists
- ASM Historical Landmarks L'Anse aux Meadows (2003)
World Heritage Process
- Inscribed on a single criterion only vi. to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria)
- WHS inscribed solely on Criterion VI