The Viking Ship – Good Templar Park

When Is the Best Time

Open one Saturday per month, spring through fall, between 1 pm – 4 pm. Check their website for exact dates. The last docent-led tour begins at 3:30 PM.

Review and Tips

This small historical site offers an expansive and intriguing tale bridging generations of people who were united throughout time, by their passion about one very impressive ship. This ship has a meaningful story to tell.

Suitable for all ages. Make sure to call or visit their website for exact dates.
Tickets: Adults $5.00 Teens $3.00 and Children free
Tours can be either self-guided or with a docent.
Can’t come on a Saturday? Get a group together and book a special tour. $5.00 per adult. $3.00 per child age 6 and above. Minimum fee: $50. Two week lead time required. 630-302-7338

History about the Gokstad: The original Gokstad ship is a Viking ship found in a burial mound at Gokstad farm in Sandar, Sandefjord, Vestfold, Norway. Dendrochronological dating suggests that the ship was built around 890 AD.

As Chicago prepared for the World’s Fair (Columbian Exposition mind you) Scandinavians wanted to promote on the world’s stage, that it was a Norseman, not Columbus, that found “The New World”. A passionate effort was underway to bring the ship to the states. The full-size replica is what ended up being constructed exactly as the first ship was built in late 800 AD. The ship set sail led by a team of Norwegians looking for a grand adventure, crossing the Atlantic, ending up proudly on display in 1893 at the World’s Fair. The journey itself was proof positive, Viking ships were fully capable of the journey to the Americas.

The Friends of the Viking Ship wrote, “In 1893 the Viking sailed from Norway to Chicago, via the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes, and became one of the greatest attractions at the World’s Columbian Exposition.


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