Sepac 2019 - Old Residential Buildings
Buildings are an important part of our cultural herit-age. They are a tangible reminder from the days of our forefathers; one which we have a duty to look after. It therefore makes good sense that “Old residential buildings” should be the year’s common theme for the Small European Postal Administration Co-opera-tion (abbreviated to Sepac) postal network, of which Greenland is one of the thirteen member countries.The house that we have chosen to reproduce on this year’s Greenlandic Sepac stamp, was built back in 1751. It was restored a few years ago, alongside another house.Poul Egede’s Houses in IlimanaqThe buildings are located in Ilimanaq, which is a small settlement about 15 km south of Ilulissat. The settle-ment is in Western Greenland, approximately 300 km north of the Arctic Circle. It was once a traditional whal-ing town called Claushavn, which is nowadays a centre for a unique blend of tourism, nature, fisheries, cultural heritage and sustainability.
Interest in this small Greenlandic settlement - and not least for two of the settlement’s wooden buildings which are some of Greenland’s oldest preserved and listed houses from the colonial period - began more than ten years ago. This was when Realdania By & Byg entered into a partnership with Greenland’s National Museum on the potential for revitalising Greenlandic cultural heritage. The partnership led to Realdania By & Byg buying these two buildings during the Summer of 2014: The house of missionary and tradesman Poul Egede was constructed in 1751 and the colonial shop was built in 1778. Both buildings have great historical and cultural importance for the settlement and for cul-tural heritage as a whole.
Work then began on the restoration, preservation and transformation of the two buildings into an information centre, restaurant, conference room and shop trading in local catches. The restoration of the two buildings as-sures the conservation and bringing to life of a piece of Greenlandic and global cultural heritage, allowing this cultural heritage to be communicated to as many peo-ple as possible in the future. And this communication does not stop with these two buildings. The entire settlement of Ilimanaq, local residents and the magnificent scenery that surrounds the natural area by Ilulissat Ice fjord, all play a crucial role in the overall project.Realdania By & Byg develops experimental new build-ings and neighbourhoods, while retaining historic build-ings through philanthropic investment and active owner-ship.