Roskilde Tourist Attractions
ZealandRoskilde, which in the Middle Ages was at times a royal seat and a diocesan town, is situated in the east of Zealand on Roskilde Fjord, which bites deep into the island.
Within the town there are several natural springs, the largest being the "Maglekilde", which delivers 15,000 liters/3,300 gallons of water every 24 hours.Roskilde can be reached from Copenhagen by train or car in about half an hour.HistoryRoskilde is one of the oldest towns in Denmark. As early as 960 a wooden church stood on the northern edge of the terrace from which the land slopes down to the fjord. Harald Bluetooth, the ruler who converted Denmark to Christianity, is believed to have founded this church; this, at least, is the tradition, although there is no real evidence to support it. Nevertheless it is a fact that in 1030 a start was made on rebuilding the church in stone. In the 11th C. Roskilde became a royal and episcopal residence and in the following centuries it enjoyed its period of greatest prosperity.It was principally the center of an ecclesiastical area, possessing great power and wealth, particularly after King Valdemar arranged the appointment of a young Paris-educated priest as bishop. This was the great Bishop Absalon of the Hvide lineage (1128-1201). In 1168 Valdemar presented to his favorite the town and castle of Havn; thus Absalon became the virtual founder of Copenhagen, then a fishing village of little consequence. Thereafter the focus of power lay in Roskilde. The situation changed, however, with the Reformation, when 11 parish churches and all the town's religious houses were closed, and the economic and intellectual life of Roskilde declined. The town later recovered some of its importance, and in 1658 the peace treaty between Denmark and Sweden was signed in Roskilde Cathedral. By this treaty Denmark lost all its possessions beyond the Kattegat and the Øresund. Much of the old town was destroyed in a series of fires during the 18th C.The economic revival of Roskilde did not begin until the mid-19th C., after the construction of a railway link with Copenhagen. Roskilde is now one of the major industrial, educational and scientific areas of Denmark, with the Roskilde University Center (RUC), concentrating on the social sciences, and an atomic research center at Riso, to the north of the town.TownscapeThe Cathedral, one of Denmark's great national monuments, is the central feature of the town, which extends northwards to Roskilde Fjord and southwards to the expressway (21 or 23).
The Cathedral of St Luke is the main feature of the center of Roskilde.
A World Heritage Site, the red brick Cathedral of St Luke is built in an architectural style reflecting Gothic and Romanesque elements. The Cathedral has served as the burial site for Danish Royals.
Roskilde Cathedral is linked to the Palace to the east by Absalon's Arch, a covered bridge built of limestone in the year 1200 or so. The Palace originally served as the Bishop's seat and later as accommodation for royalty who were passing through or were attending a funeral in the cathedral. In the 18thcentury the present palace was built to the designs of the Danish architect Laurits de Thurah; the building has a handsome courtyard and staircase.Historical CollectionFive rooms of the palace now house a collection (Palæsamlingerne) which originated from a gift to Roskilde by the Kornerup family, who were important merchants of the 18th and 19th century. The exhibits include furniture, paintings - including portraits of Peter Kornerup and his wife - and works by the architectural artist Joseph Kornerup. Also on view are some 19th century champion rifle-shooting targets.One room in the palace is used by the Roskilde Art Club for their exhibitions. In summer sculptures are displayed in the palace garden.
Roskilde Town Hall
In the marketplace (Stændertorvet), south of the Roskilde palace, stands the Town Hall, built about 1880. The tower, some 500 years old, once belonged to St Laurence's Church which stood on the site. Some of the remains of this church have been found and can be seen in a basement of the Town Hall.
The Roskilde Museum exhibits include pre-historical finds from the region (Gerdrup Grave) as well as medieval relics. The museum also has a collection of local embroidery and costumes.
Church of Our Lady
In Fruegade, in the south of Roskilde, stands the Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke), the structure of which incorporates remains of the walls of an 11th century church which, according to the Danish historian Saxo (d. 1220), was built by Bishop Sven Normand around 1080. Restoration at various dates has severely altered the character of the church. Note the altar of 1620 with 19thcentury paintings by C. Hansen and F. C. Lund, and also the pulpit.
The Tool Museum lies a short distance south of the town center of Roskilde. It has a private collection of old woodworking tools as used by cabinet-makers and carpenters.
North of Town
The North of Roskilde is a must to visit the Viking Ship Museum.
In the north of Roskilde lies the Town Park, with a fine view over Roskilde Fjord. Nearby stands St Ibs' Church, a limestone building of about 1100. Over the years parts of the church have been demolished, so that today only the nave remains.
Church of Skt. Jørgensbjerg
On a hill near the fjord in a part of Roskilde which was once a fishing village is found the Church of Skt. Jørgensbjerg, with a choir and nave dating from ca. 1100. The walled-up north doorway is even older and formed part of a previous building which has been dated at 1040. From the hill there is a magnificent view over the sea.
The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde is a popular tourist attraction. The Museum provides interesting historical information and features a permanent exhibition and a cinema.
This annual festival is one of the biggest and oldest rock events in northern Europe. The festival runs from late June to early July, with various folk, rock and pop concerts, film and video screenings and theatrical performances. Thousands of rock fans convene on the town for this festival every year.
Map of Roskilde Attractions