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Ancient Town about 30 minutes from Copenhagen
We took the train from the airport to Roskilde, which was about a 30 minute ride. The train station in Roskilde is right by the center of town. And apparently it is one of the oldest continuing operating stations in Denmark. We had an easy walk down the pedestrian street to the cathedral, which was beautiful. We also stopped along the way for a delicious ice cream. If you have some extra time, this is well worth the trip.
Roskilde was the capital of Denmark for many centuries. It was where the Royals lived and ruled from, it was a Viking trading post, and is the bishopric dioceseof the Cathedral. It's a very old city and a very pretty one. There are lots of old wooden houses and buildings still standing as well as more modern ones. There is a pedestrian shopping street in the centre and a large market square. The Domkirk is definitely worth a visit as is the reknowned Viking Ship Museum. We would have gone to the Roskilde museum as well if we'd had the time. It covers the history of the city. The musuem is free with the Copenhagen card but is only 25 dkk anyway.
We walked from the Central station through the shopping street to the market square, checked out the cathedral and then walked through some narrow streets with pretty buildings down to the Viking Ship museum. I would very much like to return to explore more of the city if i get back to Copenhagen in future.
Roskilde Viking Ship Museum
One of the Must See attractions in Denmark, for us, was the Viking Ship museum in Roskilde. Roskilde is about a 30 minute train ride from the center of Copenhagen and a shortish walk or bus ride from the Roskilde train station.
The museum traces the history of the Viking ships and how they were made then and now, when they have been recreated with traditional methods in the boat house. There were five ships found in Roskilde fjord and their remains were painstakingly raised and arranged on metal skeletons so you can see the original size and shape. Some only have a few boards but one or two have quite a bit that was recovered.
There was a real life replica built, and called the Sea Stallion and it was sailed from Roskilde to Dublin and back. There is a film you can watch that was taking during the journey and it really opens your eyes as to how it must have been a thousand years ago. The modern day sailors had radar and safety measures but even so, you can see how open the boats were to the weather and elements.
The boatyard is open and you can go in and watch them work on the replica they are building and see some exhibits about various tools that would have been used.
They also have boat trips out on the fjord where they take a group out in one of the replica longboats. The passengers are the crew and they row and help put up the sails. Everyone wears a life jacket, of course, and they do several sailings a day through the summer. It was too cold the day we went but they had a group of students out and they looked like they had good fun when we saw them on their return.
There is a nice shop in the main museum building and a couple of cafes in the buildings on the grounds. There is a free car park if you drive there but there are busses that go by from the train station or it's about a 20 minute walk through the town and down hill through a nice park.
Admissin is 100 dkk in summer per adult, 60 in winter. kids under 18 can get in free. The boat trip costs extra.
Roskilde was the capital city of Denmark for many centuries until the Royal family moved headquarters to Copenhagen. Even today, since the Reformation, the Kings and Queens of Denmark are buried in the Domkirke in Roskilde. The site of the current cathedral housed at least two former churches before the current building was began in the early 13th century. It has, of course, been expanded and changed many times since then. It was a Catholic cathedral when it was originally built but changed during the Reformation in 1536 to Protestant. It is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
There are also a few medieval rulers buried in the Cathedral and one of the most beautiful tombs is that of Margrete I who died in 1412.
The real jaw dropping chapel is the Chapel of Christian IV which houses his tomb as well as his queen, the crown prince, Frederik III and his queen. The walls are painted in lush murals and the ceiling is blue with gold stars, in the fashion of Sainte Chapelle in Paris. The lattice gates into the chapel are intricate.
The altar has a three sectioned gold altarpiece that was made in Antwerp in the mid 16th century and depicts Jesus Christ's Holy Week trials. It's a one of a kind treasure.
The high ceilings are white with red crests decorating each section. The Cathedral is made of brick and the two spires soar above the city.
There is a small charge to visit the cathedral and there is a desk where you can purchase a few postcards. It's a lovely church and definitely well worth visiting. It is in the old town square and you can't miss it. Just follow the towers!
Roskilde is 30 km from Copenhagen (by train). There is a very interesting Viking Ship Museum there. 9 viking ships where found in the fiord in the XX century. They were refurbished and the museum tells you from these ships whow vikings used the ships, how they conquered other places, ... We also sailed by the fior in one of these viking ships. Great experience! Together with other VT people and leaded by Ove
A must day trip while visiting Copenhaguen. Roskilde is located in what is considered one of the most scenic areas of natural beauty in Denmark. The highlights of the trip are the Viking Ships Museum, the Cathedral and sailing in a Viking Ship.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
At the end of the 10th century, a number of naval barricades were built in Roskilde Fiord, in order to protect the important trading center Roskilde from attacks. In examinations made in the years 1957-59, done by the National Museum, it became clear that viking ships had been sunk at the barriers, and constituted the main body of the Peberrenden blockade. In 1962 the excavation of the ships commenced, and in 1969 a museum, dedicated to these ships and their story, was opened in Roskilde, a town app. 30 kilometers (20 miles) West of Copenhagen.
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