This map plots the settings and references in Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow
To start exploring, click a red pin
The capital and largest city of Denmark, Copenhagen is situated on the islands of Zealand and Amager. It ranks amongst the best European cities for quality of life and environmental impact. Its 1,200,000 inhabitants are spread across 15 official districts, all of which have their own distinctive character. To non-Scandinavians, Copenhagen may seem to be a city of equality, but Smilla can easily distinguish between the affluent areas and the poor ones.
Smilla, the mechanic, Isaiah and his mother live on Christianshavn, an artifical island dominated by canals. Although for much of the 20th century Christianshavn had been a working-class neighbourhood, it developed a bohemian reputation and atmosphere in 1970s. Now it is a very diverse area, with artist, workers and middle class families living alongside each other. It also includes immigrants from post-colonial Greenland.
The Atlantic is the world's second largest ocean, extending between the Americas to the west and Europe and Africa to the east.
The North Atlantic is connected to the Arctic Ocean (sometimes considered a sea of the Atlantic) and in this northern part, on the route between Denmark and Greenland, that part of the book called "The Sea" is set.
Qaanaaq is the northermost town in the world. This is where Smilla comes from, and this is where Tørk Hviid heads in search of fame and money. It is one of the most difficult places in the world to live, because of the exceptionally harsh weather and long Polar nights.
The Qaanaaq area is inhabited by a Greenlandic minority, who use a different language. The main occupation is still hunting, although environmental bans make it more and more difficult to maintain a traditional lifestyle.
Upernavik, which is situated on the northwestern coast of Greenland, was founded in 1772. Although there are only around 1200 people living in the town, and another few hundred in 10 surrounding settlements, the whole municipal authority covers an area the size of Great Britain.
Sisimiut, located in central-western Greenland, is the second (after Nuuk, the capital) town in the country in terms of its population, with almost 6000 inhabitants. It has been a settlement for around 4500 years.
Qaanaaq is virtually the end of the world - the northernmost town on Earth (77°29'N 69°20'W). There are only around 600 people living there. The birthplace of Smilla, Siorapaluk, which lies in the Qaanaaq area, is the northermost inhabited settlement in the world.
Located in a park in the Kongens Enghave district of Copenhagen, opened in 1870, Vestre Cemetery is the largest graveyard in Denmark. One of the well-known people buried there is Knud Rasmussen, polar explorer and anthropologist, who's been called "the father of Eskimology". Born in 1879 in Ilulissat, Rasmussen remains the most famous Greenlander in the world.
Chiang Rai is both a city and a province in Thailand, situated in the north of the country, very close to the borders with Laos and Myanmar (former Burma). It is a very picturesque region, and attracts a lot of tourists. But because of its location, it also has the dubious honour of being one of the most notorious drug smuggling regions in the world.
Nuuk (Godthab in Danish) is the capital of Greenland, with a population of 17,000 citizens (one quarter of the whole country). It is situated in West Greenland, 10 km from Davis Strait and about 240 km south of the Arctic Circle.
Nuuk hosts all the important Greenlandic institutions, such as the Parliament (Landsting), the University of Greenland, Nuuk Technical College, Nuuk Television and the National Museum of Greenland. Nuuk also boasts the only traffic lights in the whole country.
Ittoqqortoormiit (Scorebysund in Danish) is one of the only two towns in East Greenland (the other one is Tasiilaq). Apart from them, on the 2,700 km long coast, there are a few tiny settlements and the world's largest national park, famous for its population of polar bears, muskoxen and seals.
Scoreby Sund (Kangertittivaq in Greenlandic) is also the name of the longest (350 km) and one of the deepest (over 1500 m) fjords, beside which Ittoqqortoormiit is situated.
Ilulissat (Jakobshavn in Danish) is the third largest town in Greenland, after Nuuk and Sisimiut (with approx. 5000 inhabitants). Ilulissat means "the icebergs" in Greenlandic, and this name is understandable considering the proximity of the biggest icefjord in Greenland and one of the most picturesque in the world. Ilulissat Icefjord is not only the most impressive natural tourist attraction on the island; it has also become a symbol of global warming, and many delegates from around the world come to see melting ice there.
The videoclip for the song "A Beautiful Lie" by 30 Seconds to Mars, was shot in Ilulissat Icefjord. Before the song starts you can hear a Greenlandic hunter speaking in his own language. This clip is a part of a campaign by the band to raise awareness of the environmental risks related to global warming.
Listen on Spotify: A Beautiful Lie
Read more on global warming in the Arctic here.