The Jorvik Viking Festival taking place in York in February 2019 will tell the story of Viking women.

Jorvik Viking Centre

The festival will take place between 20th and 27th February 2019 at the Jorvik Viking Centre and will tell the stories of Viking women beyond the homestead through the voices of seers, queens and shield maidens.

Sarah Maltby, director of attractions for York Archaeological Trust, commented: “For the last 35 years, the themes of Jorvik Viking Festival have enabled us to tell stories that encompass many different aspects of Viking history, from myths and legends to kings and warriors, and though women have taken key roles in many of the stories, this is the first time we’ve told all of the stories from a female perspective.” 

“We have some superb source material in the sagas, which enable us to tell stories of exploration, settlement, conquest, magic and nobility from the perspective of powerful women.”

Viking women at Jorvik

Characters coming to the fore during the festival will include the seeress Thorbjorgr Litilvolva, the colourfully named Sigrid the Haughty and Aud the Deep Minded, and Gunnhild Konungamodir, wife of the last Viking King in York Eric Bloodaxe, who manoeuvred her sons to positions of power in Scandinavia after Eric’s death. 

Visitors will also enjoy a larger encampment this year in Parliament Street and the main stage, which hosts presentations and displays throughout the week, will be in St Sampson’s Square for crowds to watch the Best Beard and Strongest Viking competitions on 23rd February. 

Also taking place on 23rd February will be a parade through the streets of York featuring hundreds of Viking warriors travelling from York Minster to Coppergate and returning to the Jorvik Viking Centre.

The entertaining events will run alongside academic talks and presentations highlighting York’s role in the understanding of Viking culture. Guest speakers will include Dr Judith Jesch, professor of Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham, who is said to be one of the world’s top experts on women in the Viking age.

Booking information

Groups of 15 or more can benefit from special offers. GTOs can call 01904 615505 or email for more details.

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