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What a year 2023 has been for Norwich! Over the months, the City of Stories has seen some seriously exciting developments come to life to make our fine city even more wonderful. From decade-long projects becoming a reality, to acquisitions of breath-taking art, there’s now even more to see when you’re visiting!
So, what is new to Norwich? And where is it all? We’re glad you asked. Read on to find out all the details about this year’s brand-new sights in the City of Stories! And, of course, if you’re looking for some more recommendations and places to visit, don’t forget to check out our ‘See & Do’ page!
Did you know? Not only does Norwich Cathedral have one of the largest spires in the country, as well as the largest cloisters, but it also has one of the most impressive and biggest pipe organs! This beautiful organ has an incredible 5,767 pipes that range from just an inch long up to 32 feet! It also has a Cymbelstern, which is a star connected to six bells to add an extra special touch to festive music at this time of year.
And with such dwarfing features, it’s not hard to imagine that an instrument of this scale would need masses of maintenance. So, after a decade of planning, the restoration of the organ began back in 2022. This saw the removal and overhaul of nearly all of the pipes and internal layout of the organ, which was such a project, it only finished in the autumn of this year!
Since it’s return, the organ has been put on show throughout a few celebratory concerts, but there’s even more to come in 2024! Starting with the ‘New Year’s Day Organ Recital’ (Monday, January 1, 2024, 11am), which will see Norwich Cathedral’s Organist, David Dunnett, welcome the New Year in with a series of favourites on this fantastic instrument. After nearly two years of work, this is a must-see service!
Find out more about the Organ’s restoration and its events to come on the Norwich Cathedral website.
It’s been a busy year at Norwich Castle. As work continues on The Royal Palace Reborn project to transform the Castle back to its magnificent medieval status, that hasn’t stopped two new exhibitions coming through their doors. Most recently, ‘Norwich Works – The Industrial Photography of Walter and Rita Nurnberg’ took residence in the Castle, where you can find it now until Sunday, April 14.
This fascinating exhibition tells the story of husband and wife Walter and Rita Nurnberg, and their stunning photography of three key industries in Norwich as the city strived to rebuild itself after the Second World War – shoemaking, steel construction, and sweet-making. It’s a stunning visual record, filled with over 130 sophisticated photographs of the time.
Learn more about Walter and Rita’s personal lives and careers, then soak in the sights of each photo from these factories across Norwich. You can even take photos just like Walter and Rita using angled lights in an interactive exhibition! It’s a jaw-dropping exhibition, especially for anyone who had family working in Norwich throughout the 1940s – 1960s.
The best bit? Admission into Norwich Works is included in your ticket to Norwich Castle (£7.40 per adult, £6.30 per child aged 4-18, FREE for children under 4), so you can explore the other exhibitions available after you’ve finished! And be sure to keep an eye out for Norwich Castle’s full re-opening in 2024…
Art never sleeps at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, no really, we mean literally! This year, the Sainsbury Centre took a first-of-its-kind step for museums across the world by seeing art as living. In fact, they’ve even encouraged visitors to touch certain works as part of it!
On top of that, the Sainsbury Centre have also acquired two new important works, which are on public display for visitors to admire. Relief, Opus 267 by Sergio de Camargo expands the Centre’s holdings of abstract art and demonstrates the artist’s fascination with interplay between light and shadows.
The second work, Diagonal Cut by Gunther Uecker, is a significant piece to bring to the Sainsbury Centre. Recognised as one of the greatest German artists of his generation, this iconic piece shows nails hammered into a white canvas, serving as both performance and a visual spectacle to bring art and reality together as one. These two pieces are must-sees on a visit to the Sainsbury Centre!
Finally, earlier this year, the Sainsbury Centre launched the first of their new ‘Big Question’ seasons! A new approach to exhibition art programming, these seasons will ask fundamental questions about the world and try to help visitors answer them through art. In September, the first question, ‘How do we adapt to a transforming world?’ saw the launch of three exhibitions, two of which are still available to see!
‘The Stuff of Life | The Life of Stuff’ is open until Sunday, January 14, and displays artworks made of salvaged materials, while educating visitors on the impact of synthetic materials on the planet. It’s eye-opening and incredibly powerful.
Meanwhile, ‘Sediment Spirit: Towards the Activation of Art in the Anthropocene’, led by John Kenneth Paranada, the first Curator of Art and Climate Change at a UK museum, brings together local and international art which each respond to the climate crisis. It invites viewers to see the Earth as living and offers ways forward to a more sustainable future, making this exhibition another must-see!
And that’s just three exciting developments here in the City of Stories! There is plenty more to look forward to in 2024, and we cannot wait to see it all. Planning on a visit? Check out the VisitNorwich website for our recommendations on how to get here, where to stay, what to do, and much more!