Concluded at the Norwegian Seamens Church
Founded in 1878, the Norwegian Seamans Church in New York is a valued meeting-place both for Norwegian sailors and for Norwegians residing locally. In addition to providing religious ceremonies such as worship services, weddings, christenings and confirmations, the church is an important venue for social and cultural gatherings. Each week many Norwegians gather to enjoy the company of other Norwegians, eat Norwegian food and read Norwegian newspapers.
The church also organises concerts and lectures, and runs its own art gallery, the Trygve Lie Gallery. Pastor Per Erik Stave Engdal led todays service, after which the King and Queen were given a guided tour of the gallery, which displays the works of Norwegian and Norwegian-American artists. Several of the featured artists were in attendance during the tour.
Returning to Norway
The visit to the Norwegian Seamans Church marks the conclusion of King Harald and Queen Sonjas ten-day trip to the Midwest and New York. The King and Queen had the opportunity to visit a number of Norwegian-American communities, institutions and organisations in Iowa and Minnesota – two of the states to which many Norwegian immigrants flocked during the 1800s and 1900s. The King and Queens visit to the US is part of the commemorative activities celebrating the centennial anniversary of the American-Scandinavian Foundation, which culminated yesterday evening with the Centennial Ball.
Congratulations are presented today from His Majesty King Harald to His Excellency Mr Egils Levits, President of the Republic of Latvia.
World Heritage at Vega
In 2004, UNESCO inscribed the Vega Archipelago on the World Heritage List. Today His Royal Highness The Crown Prince was in attendance to open the new Vega Archipelago World Heritage Centre – Norway’s first authorised centre of its kind.