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Churchill

Trip Planner Canada  /  Manitoba  /  Churchill
(4.6/5 based on 1,000+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: museums, sightseeing, historic sites
Churchill is a town in northern Manitoba, Canada on the west shore of Hudson Bay, roughly 110 kilometres from the Manitoba/Nunavut border. It is most famous for the many polar bears that move toward the shore from inland in the autumn, leading to the nickname "Polar Bear Capital of the World" that has helped its growing tourism industry.GeographyChurchill is located along the Hudson Bay at the 58th parallel north far above where most Canadian populated areas are located. Churchill is located far from any other towns or cities, with Thompson, approximately 400km to the south, being the closest larger settlement. Manitoba's provincial capital, Winnipeg, is approximately 1000km south of Churchill.HistoryA variety of nomadic Arctic people lived and hunted in this region. The Thule people arrived around AD 1000 from the west, and later evolved into the present-day Inuit culture. The Dene people arrived around 500 from farther north. Since before the time of European contact, the region around Churchill has been predominantly inhabited by the Chipewyan and Cree natives.Europeans first arrived in the area in 1619 when a Danish expedition led by Jens Munk wintered near where Churchill would later stand. Only 3 of 64 expedition members survived the winter and sailed one of the expedition's two ships, the sloop Lamprey, back to Denmark. Danish archaeologists in 1964 discovered remains of the abandoned ship, the Unicorn (a frigate), in the tidal flats some miles from the mouth of the river. The discoveries were all taken to Denmark; some are on display at the National Museum in Copenhagen.
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