Viking Leif Erickson Statue.

Viking Leif Erickson Statue

Field review by the editors.

Chicago, Illinois

In 1893 Chicago hosted a World's Fair, and one of its highlights was a full-size replica of a wooden Viking ship that had been sailed from Norway, across the Atlantic and through the Great Lakes, to Chicago. Inspired by the ship's visit, the Norwegians of Chicago pooled their pennies for several years to pay Sigvald Asbjornsen to sculpt a bronze likeness of Viking Leif Erickson, then had it prominently placed in a Chicago park.

Leif wears a hornless helmet and holds a shield. He stands atop a rock chiseled with his name and the title, "Discoverer of America" in rune-like lettering. This was a backhanded slap at the organizers of the World's Fair, which had officially been known as the World's Columbian Exposition because it had been held to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' supposed discovery of America. The Norwegians' rock and Viking statue clearly (if belatedly) set the record straight: Leif was here first.

Viking Leif Erickson Statue

Humboldt Park

Address:
N. Humboldt Drive, Chicago, IL
Directions:
On the west side of N. Humboldt Drive, which runs north-south though Humboldt Park between IL-64/W. North Ave. and W. Division St. Midway through the park, just north of the park lake.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

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In the region:
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