L'Anse aux Meadows

Newfoundland, Canada

At the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland, the remains of an 11th-century Viking settlement are evidence of the first European presence in North America. The excavated remains of wood-framed peat-turf buildings are similar to those found in Norse Greenland and Iceland.

Dating to around the year 1000 (carbon dating estimate 990-1050 CE), L'Anse aux Meadows is the only site widely accepted as evidence of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. It is notable for its possible connection with the attempted colony of Vinland established by Leif Erikson around the same period or, more broadly, with Norse exploration of the Americas.

Today the area mostly consists of open, grassy lands; but 1000 years ago, there were forests which were beneficial in boat-building, house-building and for iron extraction. The remains of eight buildings were located. They are believed to have been constructed of sod placed over a wooden frame. Based on associated artifacts, the buildings were variously identified as dwellings or workshops.

L'Anse aux Meadows was named a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1978.

References:

Comments

Your name



Address

Newfoundland, Canada
See all sites in Newfoundland

Details

Founded: 950-1050 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Canada

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

Interesting Sites Nearby

User Reviews

Gabriel B (2 years ago)
So cool place, be ready to lear some fascinating surprises
NBC - Vicki Kell (2 years ago)
loved the scenery and the Viking settlement the most of NL trip, want to get back. Worth your time.
Davis D. Janowski (3 years ago)
I had wanted to travel here since I was a child growing up in Florida in the 70s and 80s and first began reading about archaeology. During a college course in nautical archaeology I finally decided that yes, at some point I would make the trip. It happened five years ago in 2012 after convincing my wife and daughter to go. We landed in Deer Lake and traveled north up the beautiful western peninsula. My wife gave me such a look, when, while changing planes in Toronto, the customs agent asked: "where to?" and I replied "Deer Lake" to which she replied, "where is that?". When I responded "Newfoundland" while staring into my wife's eyes, smirk on her face (as if to say, "where are you taking us!?"), the customs agent said that, well of course it is in Newfoundland and that's why she hadn't heard of it---no one goes there. I thrilled at that response, just my kind of place. And L'Anse aux Meadows was indeed at the edge of what seemed the end of the world. It lived up to all my expectations. We arrived on a cold summer day with it raining or misting, giving a good impression of why the Norse might have been challenged holding on to the site. The park, museum and recreated village are indeed amazing and well worth the trip if you are truly a lover of history, archaeology and beautiful, if remote places.
Jeanette Gladwin (3 years ago)
Very cool historical site. Well worth the visit to stand on visibly Viking inhabited lands.
Julie Wadsworth (3 years ago)
Historical Viking archaeological site has one reconstructed building with knowledgeable period-dressed guides. There is an introductory movie at the main building and gift shop. The rest, including archaeological sites is a self- guided tour on a well- marked wooden trail.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.

In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.