Established in 1705 in the southeastern portion of the state of Virginia, where the Elizabeth River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk is also the third largest city in the state. With roots well anchored in maritime history, today Norfolk is home to the world’s largest naval base, Naval Station Norfolk, as well as one of NATO’s Strategic Command headquarters. Additionally, Norfolk is also the home of Maersk Line, Limited, making it an important component of the Port of Virginia.
Norfolk is also well known for its artistic and cultural events, one of the most important of which is the Virginia Arts Festival, which features a variety of events and showcases artists from around the world. Norfolk is also known for its numerous statues and depictions of mermaids. Found all throughout the city, the mermaids are a nod to the city’s relation to naval and maritime events. The mermaid was adopted as the city’s unofficial mascot in 1999 and is an important feature of the city’s logo.
- Norfolk has a population of 238,005 residents, which makes it the third most populated city in Virginia.
- Because of its low-lying position on the Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk floods regularly at high tide, and it is estimated that by the end of the century, the sea level in the city will have risen about five and a half feet.
- Norfolk was almost completely burned down during the Revolutionary War, and even though its residents struggled to rebuild it, in 1804, another 300 buildings were lost to a fire that erupted near the city’s waterfront.
- PETA, one of the most important advocates for animal rights, has been headquartered in Norfolk since 1996.
- The Chrysler Museum of Art – Built in 1933, the museum has been expanded six times. It currently features 50 galleries and traveling exhibits, among other amenities for visitors.
- Nauticus – Located at the city’s waterfront, this museum features a wide range of interactive exhibits, as well as an aquarium, and numerous educational programs. It’s also home to the last battleship built in the United States, the USS Wisconsin.