| Photo courtesy of wilmcvb.org||
Kalmar Nyckel Delaware's Tall Ship
1124 E. 7th Street,Wilmington, DE 19801
The Kalmar Nyckel landed on the banks of the Christina River on March 29, 1638, five months after setting sail from Goteborg, Sweden. She had 24 settlers aboard, hailing from Sweden, Finland, Holland, and Germany, and a black freedman from the Caribbean. The landing site, known today as "The Rocks," can be visited at Fort Christina Park off Wilmington's East 7th Street.
It was these 25 men who founded Fort Christina and built the first log cabins in America modeled after a typical Finnish building form. When the Kalmar Nyckel returned carrying women and children two years later, she found all 25 settlers alive and well in what is today the State of Delaware.
In all, Kalmar Nyckel made to make four round-trip crossings of the Atlantic... more than any other "settlers' ship" of the time. The original ship, a Dutch-built three-masted pinnace, was lost in the late 1600s, but not before she had written a piece of history that forever tied Sweden, Delaware and the United States.
In 1986 a group of committed citizens established the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation to design, build and launch a replica of the Kalmar Nyckel at a shipyard adjacent to the original landing site. The new Kalmar Nyckel was built in Wilmington, launched on September 28, 1997 and commissioned on May 9, 1998.
Today the Kalmar Nyckel is a sea-going Ambassador of Good Will for the state of Delaware. A fully functional sail training vessel, she has represented Delaware at festivals from Virginia to New York.
You can take a tour of the new Kalmar Nyckel at the Wilmington waterfront. Click to their Web site and consult their calendar for times and dates.
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