East Meets West

Meteorological observations of the Moravians in Greenland and Labrador since the 18th century


  • Cornelia Lüdecke University of Hamburg


In the early 18th century Protestants were still not tolerated in many parts of Europe, where mostly Catholics were living. Due to suppressions by the Catholics in Bohemia, a country of the Hapsburgs (today: Czech Republic), one of the few pre-Reformation Protestant sects, the Moravians, had to migrate westward1 . Finally they were given refuge by Count Nikolaus Ludwig Graf von Zinzendorf (1700-1760) on his estate at Berthelsdorf in Oberlausitz (Saxonia, Germany) close to the boarder of Bohemia. A new village with the name Herrnhut developed in the neighborhood in 1722. Here a “renewed” Moravian Church, the “Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine,” was founded under Zinzendorf’s pietistic influence in 1727, which represented modest Christianity. In 1732 the Moravians turned west to St. Thomas, one of the Virgin Islands, to start their missionary work. This paper focuses on their settlement and observations in the northern lands of Greenland and Labrador.






Special Section Articles