York & North Yorkshire

Jorvik Viking Centre to reopen in April after refurbishment

The wharf area was badly damaged by flooding Image copyright Jorvik Centre
Image caption The attraction's revamp is the biggest since the attraction opened in 1984

A date has been set for the Jorvik Viking Centre to reopen after severe flooding caused it to close last year.

The museum closed on 27 December after parts were submerged by flood water from the River Foss.

It is set to reopen on 8 April with an improved visitor ride through a new recreation of a Viking city.

Along with experiencing authentic sights, sounds and smells, visitors will be able to listen to the voices of Vikings in different languages.

The refitted centre is said to show a more multi-cultural side of 10th Century York, following new scientific research.

It will tell the story of people who came to the city from the Middle East, Russia, the Mediterranean, and Ireland.

Image copyright Jorvik Centre
Image caption The ride through the recreated Viking city is being improved

A £1.5m fundraising campaign for the attraction, owned by the York Archaeological Trust, has so far reached £750,000.

Ms Maltby, director of attractions at the museum, said people on the ride would hear more diverse languages from the inhabitants of the city, represented by animatronic models being built by an American firm.

"People came to Jorvik from all over and you would have heard many different languages in the street", she said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The museum was hit by water from the flooded River Foss

"Archaeological science has moved on so far we can now tell where a person was from, or grew up, from testing his or her skeleton", she said.

People came to Jorvik to trade, settle and some even arrived as slaves, she added.

Image copyright JORVIK Viking Festival
Image caption Viking re-enactors in modern-day York

York's Roman and Viking past

  • York was settled by the Romans in the first century AD
  • It was known as Eboracum and hosted a Roman military barracks
  • The Vikings settled in Jorvik from 866-1066
  • The Viking people remained even after the last Viking king, Harald Hardrada, was killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge near York in September 1066
  • The city's Norse history was revealed in the 1970s when an archaeological dig at Coppergate found Viking streets buried below the modern pavement

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