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Vesterheim

523 W. Water Street, P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA 52101
563-382-9681
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Ranked #1 of 17 Attractions in Decorah
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Specialty Museums, History Museums
Owner description: Through 24,000 artifacts and 12 historic buildings, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum shares the most comprehensive collection of... more » Owner description: Through 24,000 artifacts and 12 historic buildings, Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum shares the most comprehensive collection of Norwegian-American artifacts in the world and is a national center for folk-art classes. « less
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50 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Jacksonville, Florida
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014 NEW

This is an amazing trip back in time to the early days of the Norwegian people. A lot of history to be learned. Many outstanding displays and artifacts. The people who work there are very nice and helpful. If you have any interest in Norwegian culture, don't miss this one.

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Eugene, Oregon
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
13 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014 via mobile

This is a wonder field museum which interprets the immigrant experience very well. The artifacts and buildings (which reflect the Scandinavian open-air museum model) are used to interprets acculturation which would be of interest to any ethnic group not just Norwegians. Also an excellent gift shop. I only wished I could be part of the many different study/learning groups.

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Waukee, Iowa
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

The Vesterheim, translates to "Western Home", is a remarkable museum housing boats to clothing to an actual home shipped over from Norway. I do encourage you to plan on several hours for this. There is SO much to see, read, hear, and touch, time tends to slip by quite quickly. When the King and Queen of Norway came to the... More

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Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
9 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

Far exceeded expectations. Much larger than we expected and everything is very well presented. First floor is about life in Norway and the emigration to America. The second floor is dedicated to early immigrant life in America. The top floor has rotating exhibits. Unfortunately this was in transition during our visit. Out back there is a collection of old cabins,... More

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Connecticut
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

I'm certain that my Norwegian ancestors would applaud this wonderful museum. I especially enjoyed the large displays of Norwegian crafts including rosemaling, woodcarving and knitting. Three busloads of Daughters of Norway happened to arrive same time as me so most of the buildings out back were open with staff inside each open building. Just loved it. I learned a lot... More

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Nashua, Iowa
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014

The museum was very nice. We went during the Nordic Festival so it was really busy, but we didn't feel rushed and the price was reasonable for the amount of things to see. They actually had a few artisans in the building as well, which added to our understanding of the Norwegian Culture.

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Decorah, Iowa
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Came for a family vacation, each of us taking a 3-4 day class at Vesterheim. Loved the historic building, quality exhibits, outstanding instructors and charming college town.

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Springfield, Oregon
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
4 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

Wow how wonderful that some cared enough to preserve these things. Being of Norwegian decent it meant a lot to see how probably my ancestors who immigrated here lived. We also enjoyed the tour with Don, though he spoke rather quietly he was very knowledgeable. Would definitely suggest taking the tour.

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Marion, Iowa, United States
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
14 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

My wife and I decided to spend a couple of days in the Decorah area to celebrate our anniversary. For years we had wanted to visit the Vesterheim, but had not taken the time. It was a wonderful learning experience. Neither of us are Norwegian, but we felt we learned about the people that chose to leave Norway in the... More

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Hull, Ia, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2014

My husband and I decided to visit NE Iowa and Decorah. The Vesterheim is a lovely museum, celebrating the Norwegian heritage of so many people who emigrated to the area, I went mostly because I admire the traditional tole & decorative painting that is predominant in this culture. They currently have a competition of the Norwegian art forms, including woodworking,... More

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