Tongeren Viking Festival - Vikimania
Next edition dates to be announced (the event was last held in 2015)
Gallo-Roman Museum, Tongeren (Limburg province)
The Vikings flock in Belgium’s oldest town, the ancient Atuatuca Tungrorum, where several amazing ancient European cultures met, from the Eburons Celts to the Romans, from the Germans to the Northmen... the thrilling experience of a weekend with a great Viking Festival in one of the most exciting and advanced museums in Europe!
Geographical, cultural and historical context
Tongeren is located in the fertile province of Limburg, and is the oldest town in Belgium: Atuatuca Tungrorum, the ancient name of Tongeren, was in fact the administrative capital of the large Roman province of Civitas Tungrorum. After the victory over the local Eburones tribes led by their King Ambiorix, the Romans built Tongeren into an important trading town, which soon developed into one of the largest cities in Northern Gaul and a strategic stopping point along the Roman road between Cologne, in Germany, and Bavay, in Northern France. Tongeren continued to flourish after the fall of the Roman Empire and until “the Great Fire” in 1677 AD, when the city was burned almost entirely by King Louis XIV’s troops. After 1830, the city economically rose once again.
Tongeren boasts a quite rich cultural and historical heritage, from the Roman Era to the Middle Ages, and offers a wealth of cultural attractions, shops and culinary highlights as well. The Gallo-Roman Museum is an archaeological museum located right in the heart of the city and dedicated to display the mankind's rich history in the region, from Prehistory to the end of the Roman Era. The museum, which was awarded as the European Museum of the Year in 2011, houses about 2.000 Celtic, Roman and Merovingian artefacts found during local excavations, and regularly organises living history events, exclusive exhibitions and fascinating workshops as well as a variety of high interactive programs for children and schools.
Event description and programme
In Winter Tongeren hosts the biggest Viking festival in the Low Countries, featuring hundreds of Viking Age reenactors from all over Europe and a variety of leisure and educational activities for adults and children to bring back to life the mighty world of the gods and the wild warriors from the Great North. The rich programme includes a torchlight procession, Viking banquets, an international Viking market, battles re-enactments with live commentary and music, including the spectacular Viking attack on Tongeren, a Viking funeral ceremony with boat burning, fireworks and a spectacular light and sound show for the grand finale. There are also themed exhibitions, guided tours at the historical camps and at the Gallo-Roman Museum, several creative workshops specially tailored for the children, like sword forging, necklace stringing, miniature Viking ship building, and of course Viking fighting lessons.
The Viking Festival opens on Friday evening with the torchlight procession in Tongeren downtown. On Saturday and Sunday, the visitors can enjoy the great Viking market, where skilled craftsmen will show their crafts and arts and sell their traditional hand-made products, attend Vikings weaponry and combat techniques demonstrations, or taste the delicious Scandinavian cuisine while storytellers and musicians provide the necessary atmosphere. The grand finale is the Saturday evening “Vikimania” spectacle, a breath-taking outdoor show making the mysterious Viking world and the most impressive sagas come to life in a captivating way with the help of about 400 fierce warriors, music and light effects and all kinds of Viking fun and entertainment.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Tourist Office Tongeren
Address: via Julianus 2 - 3700 Tongeren, Belgium
Tel.: +32 (0)12 800070
Fax: +32 (0)12 800078
Tongeren City Council / Administratief Centrum Praetorium
Address: Maastrichterstraat 10 - B-3700 Tongeren, Belgium
Tel.: +32 (0)12 800 000
Gallo-Romeins Museum Tongeren
Address: Kielenstraat 15, 3700 Tongeren, Belgium
Tel. +32 (0)12 670330
Tongeren and the GalloRomein Museum on Google Maps:
Video reportages of the event: