Visit the Viking Ship!

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Geneva’s ship announces 2019 visit days

Geneva's Viking longship

Photo: Al Benson
The Viking ship at Good Templar Park in Geneva, Ill., will be open for public visit from 1 to 4 p.m. April 20, May 18, June 22-23, July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 21, and Oct. 19-20.

Al Benson
Geneva, Ill.

Geneva’s Viking replica longship, called the Viking, has announced its 2019 visit days, including extra days each for June Swedish Days and October Cottages in the Woods festival.

The public is invited. The life-size Viking is housed at Good Templar Park, 528 East Side Drive in Geneva, Ill. Parking is free.

Visit days are 1 to 4 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month from April through October. This season’s visit days are April 20, May 18, June 22-23, July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 21, and Oct. 19-20.

Special visit days are June 22-23 in observance of Swedish Days and Oct. 19-20 in observance of Cottages in the Woods festival.

Guided group tours begin every 30 minutes with the last tour at 3:30 p.m. Self-guided viewing is also available. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for teens.

Group tours are available with two weeks’ advance notice. The fee is $50.

About the Viking

The Viking is about 78 feet long, 17 feet wide, and 6.5 feet high from the bottom of the keel to the gunwale. Its oak planks are fastened together with thousands of iron rivets. At sea, the Viking averaged 10 knots and the hull was observed to flex with the waves.

The Viking was built at Christen Christensen’s Framnes Shipyard in Sandefjord, Norway, in 1892-93. It was copied after the ancient Viking ship Gokstad, which was excavated in 1880.

In 1893, the Viking sailed from Norway to Chicago and became one of the greatest attractions at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago World’s Fair.

After the fair, the Viking was presented to the Field Columbian Museum. After many years of neglect and several transfers of ownership, in 1994, the American Scandinavian Council assumed the obligation to display, repair, and care for the ship within Chicago. Two years later, the Viking was moved to Good Templar Park in Geneva, where it remains.

The fabric canopy has been replaced several times. The dragon “head” and “tail” of the ship are in storage at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.

For more information, call (630) 753-9412 or email viking1893@Gmail.com.

This article originally appeared in the March 22, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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