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The island of Newfoundland ( Newfoundland English, French Terre- Neuve ) is an island off the northeast coast of North America in the Atlantic Ocean. It is the most densely populated part of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.


From Labrador Newfoundland is separated by the Belle Isle Strait, from Cape Breton Island by the Cabot Strait. The island has ² (with all offshore islands such as Twillingate, Fogo and Bell Iceland total of 111,390 km ²) and is inhabited an area of ​​108,860 km of slightly less than 500,000 inhabitants.

The provincial capital, St. John 's is located in the extreme southeast of the Avalon Peninsula. Before the town is Cape Spear, which is not only the most easterly point of the island, but also of the entire North American continent except Greenland. About 25 km south of Newfoundland lies the archipelago of Saint- Pierre and Miquelon, a French overseas territory ( collectivité d' outre- mer, officially abbreviated COM ).

The highest point of the island is 814 m high mountain The Cabox in the Long Range Mountains on the west coast in Corner Brook. Longest river is the 322 km long Exploits River, which flows from the Red Indian Lake from the northeast.


Prehistory and Early History

The first inhabitants were probably the Labrador Maritime Archaic Indians, in the period between 8000-3500 BC lived in North America (see History of the First Nations ). Excavations at L'Anse Amour Site on the east coast of Labrador are at about 7500 BC datable. No later than 4000 BC these Indians came to the coast of Newfoundland. Between 3500 and 2500 BC, it had probably developed the "Intermediate Indians" who also lived in the interior. In Port au Choix on the west coast of Newfoundland Indians cemeteries have long been excavated from different eras.

Around 4000 BC to 2000 BC displaced or took over the pre- Dorset Inuit settlements of the Archaic Indians. To 2400 BC then the pre- Dorset Inuit came from the north-east to Labrador and Newfoundland. However, they disappeared ungeklärterweise back from the island. Around 1400 BC wandered the third wave of Inuit, the Thule, one of Alaska ago. From about 1700 BC until the modern time, various groups of Native Americans were common on the island. The most important groups are or were the Beothuk and the Mi'kmaq. The last Beothuk, Shanawdithit died 1829 in St. John's. The Micmac are the last " Native Indians" in Newfoundland; live in Labrador Inuit, are descendants of the Thule Inuit.

15th to 19th century

Since the 15th century fishermen increasingly Portuguese sailors came ( João Cortes Real) and Basque on the Neufundlandbänke for fishing. It was only on June 24, 1497 demonstrably saw the first European - John Cabot (Anglicized; Italian Giovanni Caboto ), an Italian navigator in the service of the English king, who came from Bristol - the American mainland in Labrador, after he had already in on the same trip Bonavista had landed on Newfoundland. The name Newfoundland is derived from Cabot's name newe founde islande from ( German newfound island). 1583 England took possession of the island officially.

In the 17th century England and France competed for the island; then the cod catch peaked by Basque and French fishermen. Both sides put an Governors and encouraged the settlement of their compatriots. The Peace of Utrecht in 1713 Newfoundland finally fell to England. 1832 Newfoundland was a regional representative assembly.

In the 19th century saw a further wave of immigration, especially from Ireland but also from Scotland and Scandinavia. The island prospered.

In June 1882 the first railway line was built on the island. The first passengers were carried in 1898 but it was only with the train, which was named because of its speed " Newfie Bullet".

20th century

Until the completion of the Trans - Canada Highway (TCH ) in 1967, the railway line was the only land route from Port aux Basques in the west to the provincial capital of St. John's in the east. Shortly after completion of the TCH, on July 2, 1969 the last passenger was transported. The railroad was all set on 1 September 1988, after the federal government had assured the continued expansion of the TCH. Nowadays it is going to make the entire route for tourism accessible by converting them into the Newfoundland T'Railway Provincial Park.

In June 1919 John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown led of Newfoundland from the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic by.

Newfoundland (English Dominion of Newfoundland ) existed from 1907 to 1934 as an independent Dominion within the British Empire.

See also the history:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador, Newfoundland ( Dominion )
  • Bell Iceland, Burin Peninsula
  • Portuguese colonies # America

Nature parks

To the west of the island of Newfoundland, the Gros Morne National Park, which is known for natural history attractions such as the Fjord Western Brook Pond and the Tablelands is located. This national park was established in 1973. In 1987 he was included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Due to the Terra Nova National Park to get on the highway no. 1 on the way from St. John's to Gander with an important air hub. Spread over the entire island you will find a number of sanctuaries for the protection of unique plants and animals, such as Cape St. Mary's or Witless Bay.


The secluded location of the island, there are relatively few tourists, of which barely package tourism. Especially hunters and individuals visit the island, mostly from the Campingmobil the mainland or the United States. But recently, more and more tourists from Europe Newfoundland have discovered for themselves. St. John's are on the East and Corner Brook on the west coast ( in the summer ) is also popular ports of call for cruise ships.

The Newfoundland have recognized that tourism, in addition to the oil in the Hibernia oil field and the Terra Nova oil field, an industry with a future, particularly after the collapse of the cod fishery - in the 1990s - the island existential in a overthrown crisis (partly 20 percent unemployment ). In addition, the fishermen have to deal with the annual protests against the end of March beginning seal hunt.

There are now a wide range of adventure tours and winter holidays. During the Atlantic for most bathers is too cold, the countless lakes reach in the summer quite bathing temperatures.

Biggest Towns

( Population figures from 2006)


Due to the remote location of some communities along the coast of the language of the settlers has there been partially preserved (mostly Shakespearean English, French, Irish, Portuguese, etc.). Only after the connection of Newfoundland in Canada in 1949 and the associated expansion of infrastructure, radio and television modernity came into this weltabgelegenen villages and displaced these languages. Today, Newfoundland is one of the regions with the highest percentage growth of the Internet. In 2009, almost 70 % of the population Internet access (including Labrador ).

About the mentality of " Newfies " as Newfoundland in Canada are often referred to, are the novel The Shipping News ( dt ship messages) by Annie Proulx, a small impression. This book was made ​​into a film with the condition of making the recordings in Newfoundland. The Newfoundland thanked it by naming a stretch of coast after the hero " Quoyle's country." The same film was with the cast Kevin Spacey and Julianne Moore filmed near Trinity ( Bonavista Bay) in 2001.

The " Newfies " are, if you is based on jokes that " East Frisian North America ", with most Newfie jokes come from the Newfies itself and often the fussiness of other people (eg, the term Torontonians who made ​​for " people Toronto and from the mainland " is ) represent ( cf. East Frisian joke).