A replica of the French tall ship that brought General Marquis de Lafayette from France to America in 1780 is scheduled to arrive Tuesday at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate south of Alexandria, Virginia. The stop is part of a 12-city tour along the East Coast that includes public tours of the ship and traveling exhibit.
Here are three things to know about the Hermione (pronounced ERR-me-ohn) and its journey.
Lafayette brought news that France was sending 5,500 troops to fight the British during the American Revolution. The Hermione was also among the French ships that participated in a naval blockade that cut off support to British troops during the decisive Battle of Yorktown in 1781. British General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington, leading to the end of the American Revolutionary War.
Construction on the Hermione began in France in 1997, based on exact line drawings from its sister ship, La Concorde. The Hermione has three masts, is 185 feet tall, 216 feet long and displaces 1,166 tons of water. There are 1,000 pulleys, 26 cannons and 242 crew members on the frigate, which is made of oak, conifer, iron and lead.
The Hermione left Rochefort, France, in April and stopped in the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa before crossing the Atlantic. Last week, the Hermione was greeted by U.S. Navy warships off the coast of Virginia. The newly built ship’s stops include Alexandria, Annapolis, Maryland; Baltimore, Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New York; and Boston, Massachusetts. The Hermione’s final stop in North America will be Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, on July 18.
What: Hermione in Alexandria
Where: Alexandria Marina, east of King and Union streets
When: Wednesday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
How much: Free. Timed tickets are required. A limited number will be distributed at 8:30 a.m. and noon Wednesday through Friday.
For more information: A parent can visit hermione2015.com/voyage2015.