Written by root. Posted in FEATURES


Published on January 01, 2014 with No Comments

York celebrates its unusual history as the capital of Viking territory.

Words Suriani Ariff
Images York Archaeological Trust

It may be nearly 1,150 years since the Vikings first sailed up the river Ouse to first conquer and then settle in the area now known as the city of York, but 2014 marks a significant landmark in the modern Viking story, with the Jorvik Viking Centre launching its ‘pearl’ anniversary year with the 30th annual Jorvik Viking Festival.

Taking place across nine days from 15 to 23 February, 2014,
the 30th Jorvik Viking Festival takes its theme from the oldest of Viking myths and legends, bringing together the Norse gods, magical creatures from generations of sagas and a horde of Viking warriors.

The festival will take the fantastical Norse myths and legends as inspiration, creating over 80 unique events, including sword fighting workshops, crafts, lectures and tours as well as dramatic combat performances, music and archaeological expert sessions.

Beowulf by Candlelight (20 February, 2014) is a retelling of the classic Norse saga performed by Peter Carrington-Porter. Hosted in the atmospheric settings of St Helen’s Church, and lit entirely by candles, this promises to be a spell-binding evening transporting those attending back to the mysterious world of Norse monsters and myths. Viking Banquet at York Minster (21 February, 2014) will revisit the feast that only the Vikings knew how to throw. Taking place within the North Transept of the gothic cathedral – the site of which was gifted to the Dean & Chapter of York by the Viking Jarl Ulph – this is an unforgettable evening of live music and entertainment, hosted by fearsome Viking warriors.

The Strongest Viking Competition (22 February, 2014) will honour strength and determination – the two characteristics known to the Vikings. This competition will put modern pretenders to the test, with competitors invited from around the world to prove their might!

If you can’t wait for the festival to begin, this year also marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Jorvik Viking Centre, which many believe to have changed the way history was brought to life for museums and attractions across the world.

The Jorvik Viking Centre houses authentic recreations of the Viking streets on the very site and at the same level below ground that the archaeological remains of the Viking city were found. Its permanent exhibitions include the remains of 1,000-year-old houses and objects taken from the excavations. It was at this site that archaeologists from York Archaeological Trust discovered the houses, workshops and backyards of the Viking-Age city of Jorvik when they worked between the years 1976 to 1981.

You can also explore information gathered from the dig of five years at Coppergate and piece together the puzzle of where the Vikings came from, why they came here and how they lived and died. You will also be able to view the construction and layout of the buildings in which townsfolk lived and worked. The Coppergate will also reveal other interesting objects from the Viking era, including remains of houses, plants and animals.

The annual Jorvik Viking Festival is a city-wide celebration of York’s Viking heritage organised by York Archaeological Trust, creators of Jorvik Viking Centre. Recognised as the largest Viking Festival in the Europe, it attracts more than 40,000 visitors to the city of York and commemorates the traditional celebrations called ‘Jolablot’ the Vikings held each February to herald the coming of spring and the survival of winter hardships.


Catch VIKINGS S2 in 2014 on Sundays 10pm on History Channel (KRISTAL astro channels 555 and 575 for Brunei).
Royal Brunei flies London daily via Dubai on the B787 Dreamliner for connections to York.

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