25th Street along the Boardwalk
I am the Norwegian Lady. I stand here, as my sister before me, to wish all men of the sea safe return home.
Adjacent to the Naval Aviation Monument, the Norwegian lady Statue overlooks the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and the beach, her gaze fixed toward the ocean in the direction of her twin statue in Moss, Norway. One of the most beloved landmarks along the Boardwalk, the Norwegian Lady stands in commemoration of lives lost and saved during the tragic shipwreck of Norwegian sailing vessel Dictator from Moss in the spring of 1891.
Following the tragedy, the sunken ship's wooden figurehead washed ashore, was found and placed near the Boardwalk, where it stood for over 60 years. Over time, the coastal winds and salty air took a toll on the figurehead and it was moved into storage and subsequently either lost or stolen. Through a joint effort on both sides of the ocean, Norwegian sculptor Ørnulf Bast was commissioned to replicate the lost figurehead by creating two bronze statues, one for Moss, Norway and the other for Virginia Beach. Both of the statues were presented in the fall of 1962 and twelve years later Moss and Virginia Beach were united as sister cities.
Annually, on the anniversary of the sinking of the Dictator, a memorial wreath is placed at the statue in Virginia Beach, while similar commemorations take place in Moss, Norway. Artifacts from the ship are maintained at the Old Coast Guard Station.