Jorvik Viking Centre reveals its reopening date

Smashing news… a giant axe heralds the opening date. Photograph: Richard McDougall
24 Oct 2016 @ 9.01 am
| Entertainment

Heralded by the crash of a giant axe, the Jorvik Viking Centre announced the date of its reopening.

Completely revamped, the Coppergate attraction will relaunch on Saturday, April 8, 2017. And the first tickets went on sale today (Monday, October 24).

The closure of Jorvik Viking Centre following the Boxing Day 2015 floods made headlines around the world. Since then there’s been a constant stream of enquiries asking when people will be able to visit again, said director of attractions for York Archaeological Trust, Sarah Maltby.

As April 8, 2017 is the start of the Easter holidays it is “the perfect time to celebrate the rebirth of Jorvik Viking Centre and the return of the Vikings,” Sarah said.

Completely rebuilt

Agents of Odin investigate the giant axe buried in a York street. Photograph: Pyper York
Agents of Team ODIN investigate the giant axe buried in a York street. Photograph: Pyper York

For the moment, the Jorvik team is keeping under wraps exactly what the newly reimagined Viking city will be like, although certain details have already been announced.

For example, many of the men and women who populate the famous ride through Viking-age Coppergate will now be animatronics rather than static models, recreating the hustle and bustle of real Viking streets in exactly the same places that real Vikings lived, worked and traded.

“Large parts of the Viking city are being completely rebuilt – including the riverside area, which was damaged when water from the real River Foss penetrated the building,” Sarah said.

She added:

The whole sound system and commentaries will be different, as the sound modules in our time capsules were damaged beyond repair.

This means we can not only update the technology, but also the content to integrate the most up-to-date archaeological discoveries about life in tenth century York, reflecting the on-going research that York Archaeological Trust has done of items found during the Coppergate dig since the last major refurbishment in 2010.

Visitors can be first in line for the new Jorvik Viking Centre experience by reserving tickets online.

Advanced tickets will be £10.25 for adults and £7.25 for children, with a family of four advanced booking at £30.95.

Chop chop

Agents of ODIN prevent the public from getting too close to the giant axe
Agents of ODIN prevent the public from getting too close to the giant axe

With typical Viking subtlety the good news was announced with a two metre-long axe smashing on the corner of Low Petergate and Stonegate.

The giant axe, which appears to be buried into the pavement, will be moving around the city throughout half term as the Vikings stamp their claim on the city.

Trying to predict the next location will be Team ODIN (Official Detectives Investigating Norse), who will be sharing details of when the Vikings are expected to repopulate Jorvik.