Roskilde Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by easterntrekker
  • Things to Do
    by easterntrekker
  • Things to Do
    by easterntrekker

Most Recent Things to Do in Roskilde

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    Domkirke: the choirstalls

    by leics Written Oct 7, 2014

    The Chapel of the Magi and the instricately-carved Medieval choir stalls were, for me, the highlight ofmy visit to the domkirke.

    I love Medieval wood-carvings...they tell us so much not only about the fashions of the time in which they were carved but also about the 'world-view' held by ordinary folk. You can learn an awful lot about daily life and beliefs just by studying carvings on Medieval choirstalls.

    Those in the Domkirke are rather special. As well as the usual misericords (carvings under the small drop-down seat provided as a mercy (miseri) to the monks who had to attend long services during the night) and the carvings at the ed of the stalls themselves there are a whole series of intricate panels set over each stall. the panels show scenes form the Bible, from Creation to Judgement Day, half from the Old Testament and half from the New Testament. Those scenes fascinated me and I looked closely at all of them. I especially loved the way the woodcarver had to set the faces of some characters at a 90 degree angle simply to fit them into the panel!

    The choir stalls date from the early 1400s and were originally set in a U-shape around the tomb of Margete l. Do look out for them: they are special and not to be missed, even if the main visitor focus is on the royal tombs nearby.

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    Domkirke: royal tombs, ghost horses and trolls.

    by leics Written Oct 7, 2014

    Apart from the beautiful Medieval 'Chapel of the Magi', the Domkirke has seven other royal chapels plus other nooks and crannies to explore.

    You'll find royal burials and tombs in most of the side-chapels and crypts. Some have elaborate and intricately-decorated tombs or sarcophagi, some have very plain ones: fashions changed over the centuries. Wander as you please: each chapel has its own interest and, apart from the excellent guidebook you get free on entry, you'll find English language information dotted about.

    In the ambulatory at the far end of the nave look for the plain black stone 'tomb of the ghost horse'. The ghost horse had three legs and eyes like red-hot coals. If you met it, you would die so it's just as well that it's long been safely buried in the Domkirke! Apparently, people used to spit on the gravestone when they passed it.

    And don't forget to spot the troll in the metalwork gate leading to Trolles Kapel. This was originally a chapel dedicated to Saint Sigfried, dedicated in 1405, but in the 1600s it was taken over as the family chapel and burial vault of the wealthy Trolles family. Hence the troll in the (fairly modern?) gate.......

    Trolles Kapel Royal sarcophagi Christian lV Kapel Here lies the ghost horse...... More royal sarcophagi
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    Domkirke: Helligtrekongers Kapel

    by leics Written Oct 7, 2014

    The Domkirke has many side-chapels but this one appealed to me most simply because it is so very old.

    The 'Chapel of the Magi' dates from the mid-1400s and was built during the reign of King Christian 1, intended as the burial place of that king, his queen, Dorothea, and their descendants. The chapel walls are decorated with lovely and intricate frescoes of the period, including Nativity and Cricifxion scenes, and is worth visiting just for that.

    The chapel contains two huge tombs, created by dutch atists in the Renaissance period and housing the remains of Christian lll (died 1559) and Frederik ll (died 1588). They do rather overwhelm the chapel and...like the other royal tombs..one is kept at a distance. But it is still possible to see enough of the frescoes to fully enjoy them.

    The markings made on the central pillar, set on a beautifully-carved Romanesque stone base which dates from the 1100s, are an oddity of the chapel. For some reason, the height of various royal visitors over the centuries was marked on the pillar. One of the 'visitors' (Christian 1) appears to have been a giant of a man, measuring 219.5cm (over 7 feet!)...but it turns out that, although he was a tall man, this height was actually a mistake made in later centuries. In 1581 Frederik ll wanted to mark the height of Christian on the pillar, but they only measured the length of the coffin and not the skeleton it contained. :-)

    If you only visit one chapel in the Domkirke this must be it. It's the first on the right after the entrance.

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    Domkirke: the Chancel

    by leics Written Oct 5, 2014

    There are some beautiful things to see in this ancient and important part of the church.

    I was very taken with the delicately-carved alabaster (?) sarcophagus of Queen Margrete l. It dates from 1423. Margrete died in 1412 and was originally buried in her family's small chapel in Soro, but her body was moved to Roskilde the following year. Her sarcophagus was created and set in place in 1423, with three days of ceremony. The many small figures which surround its base now are not originals. Those were removed in the 1700s (some are on display in the cathedral museum) and rpelaced by copies in the 19th and early 20th century.

    Several other kings and queens are buried in this part of the church but I was particularly intrigued by the monument to Duke Christopher, Margrete's brother, who died in 1363. It is a child-sized replica of a knight in full armour, carved from alabaster and originally inlaid with precious gems. At some point in the past, and for an unknown reason (safe-keeping because of the gems?) it was broken into pieces and stored in a wooden chest. In 1878 it was reconstructed and put back on display, although the gems (if they still existed) were replaced with coloured glass.

    Both sarcophagus and memorial are difficult to photograph because one is not allowed to get too close.

    Under the chancel is the Royal Children's crypt, dug out in 1690. It's sad to think that a special burial place was needed for royal children.

    Sarcophagus Queen Margrete l Duke Christopher's memorial Another view of Duke Christopher To the crypt of the Royal children
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    Domkirke

    by leics Written Oct 5, 2014

    Do allow more time than you think you'll need to explore Roskilde's Domkirke. It doesn't look very large but there is a vast amount to explore inside.

    There was a wooden church on this site from the 900s, replaced by two stone versions in the 1000s. Around 1100 a stone wall was built around the second stone church and its remains were found during archaeological excavations in 2010. It underlies the existing walls which surround the church...the size of the area has not changed in 900+ years.

    the present brick building was started in 1170, when Absalon was Bishop. Bricks were new to Denmark at the time, and that is almost certainly why they were used to build something 'to the glory of God'. There are elements of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture in the earliest building, though it is nowhere near as ornate as many of the churches and cathedrals of similar age i have seen elsewhere. In some ways brick is not as malleable as stone.

    It took about 100 years to build the first version of the existing church and, of course, there have been changes and additions over the subsequent centuries. The most extensive of these changes happened in the 1200s, when the original plans for chancel towers and transepts were substantially amended.

    Various chapels have been added to the main structure over the years, the most recent being for the burial of King Frederik lX in 1985.

    I'll make separate tips for specific aspects of the church which particularly interested me, but do make sure you are at the entrance end of the nave when the hour approaches. Look up and you will see a most wonderful clock, dating from the 1400s. St George kills the dragon (which makes an horrendous wailing sound) whilst Peter Dover strikes the hours on his large bell and Kirsten Kimer (who strikes the quarter hours on her much smaller bell) shakes her head.

    It's an exquisite piece of workmanship and unique in Denmark. The only problem is that it is set high on the wall, so unless you've got a good zoom on your camera (or binoculars) it's difficult to see the detail.

    The Domkirke is open for visiting on most days from 1000, although it is closed on Monmdays and visiting hours vary according to month. you can see the calendar and the hours clearly set out on the website below.

    Adult entrance costs 60 DKK (as of August 2014) and for that you also get an excellent, and very detailed, guidebook in Danish and English.

    Nave St George's clock Frescoes on nave columns Tymphanon
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    Viking Ship Museum

    by leics Written Sep 28, 2014

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    Allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy this place. As well as the purpose-built hall which houses the five Viking ships which were discovered in Roskilde fjord there are interesting displays about how the Vikings explored and traded, a very pleasant cafe with Viking (and other) dishes, lots and lots of boats...including the replica Viking longship 'Sea Stallion', which has made many real-life long voyages...and several craftspeople demonstrating various Viking crafts (who and what varies through the week, more at weekends). Oh...and there are boat trips too.

    There's a fascinating video of the Sea Stallions voyage to Ireland. You watch it while sitting in a replica longship and, believe me (and regardless of the fact that the modern-day crew wore modern-day clothing and lifejackets) it's very clear indeed what a tough and, at times, very risky journey it was. Not to mention having to sleep on deck, crumpled up between the oars wherever they could find space. It makes you realise what magnificently skilful sailors the Vikings were...and just how tough they were as well.

    When I visited some young students were just returning from what I think was a camping trip somewhere. Watching them steer their way into the harbour using the oars in a small version of a longship also made me realise that rowing a big boat as part of a team is not as easy as it looks!

    You'll obviously find the museum down by the coast. It's about 15 minutes' walk from central Roskilde, perhaps 25 minutes from Roskilde railway station, through the green and pleasant Byparken and signposted along the way. There's ample parking if you come by car. Bus 203 runs from the railway station to the museum.

    The museum is open Monday to Sunday 10.00 - 16.00 Entrance fees vary according to the time of year and whether special activities are on offer....it cost me 115DKK in August 2014.

    Rowing into the harbour Metalsmith Watching the Sea Stallion's journey Sea Stallion
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    To begin at the beginning: Hestetorvet

    by leics Updated Sep 27, 2014

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    If you arrive by train you'll cross the large open marketplace of Hestetorvet, which lies directly opposite Roskilde's oddly-Tuscan railway station.

    This large open market area has existed at least from the Middle Ages and was for both horses and cattle. A market is still held there on Wednesdays and Saturdays but it's no longer for livestock. It's just for everything else you might expect in a modern European outdoor market: fruit & vegetables, household goods, foodstuffs, crafts, clothes etc etc. Concerts and other community events are also held there.

    The three giant vases in the 'square' (it isn't a square, more like a rhomboid) were created by Peter Brandes and were put in place to mark Roskilde's millennium in 1998.

    Where the 'square' joins Store Grabrodrestraede, the main pedestrianised street, there's a rather nice granite fountain carved with horses. It looks old but in fact it only dates from 1945.

    Hestetorvet Millennium vases Granite fountain
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    Roskilde Cathedral

    by easterntrekker Written Jan 11, 2014

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    Roskilde Cathedral

    We weren't sure what to expect here but decide to pay the $8.00 each to enter. It turned out to be so much more than we expected. This is where most of the Kings and Queens of Denmark have been buried for the past 1000 years. It has been declared a World Unesco site...and easy to understand why..
    So much art work here..many by famous sculptures. it took us a good hour to see it . The church itself was built in the 1400s and is massive. Beautiful frescos , and gilded Royal seating boxes, marble ...paintings . Truly amazing.

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    Amazing Viking Ships

    by easterntrekker Written Jan 11, 2014

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    We arrive early and since it's off season ...September things are sleepy.
    Finally at 10 AM we enter .It cost about $20.00 for a ticket but to us it was well worth it . We spent 2 hours here and really enjoyed it . we watched the short film first and then took a look at the 5 remains original Viking Ships. it's really unbelievable that so much could endure that many years and under water. It took 25 years to piece them back together.
    We strolled around reading the stories of the history of the Vikings ....and seeing some interesting artifacts that were discovered in the area.

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    Viking Museum

    by easterntrekker Written Jan 11, 2014

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    This morning we head out early to see the Viking ships in Roskilde. we are still using the 24 hour train ticket from yesterday for the bus then the train....amazing.
    Not much open when we arrive so we make our way to the Viking Museum and sit admiring the huge Viking ship , that has been recreated in Dublin ,at the mooring . it's quite impressive.

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    VIKING MUSEUM

    by balhannah Updated Aug 22, 2012

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    We walked from the old town, down the hill and to the water where the Viking Museum was located.
    We had thought about going, but found out it WASN'T INCLUDED in our Copenhagen Card.
    We had previously seen a Viking Museum in Oslo, so we weren't that worried on missing this one!
    Instead, we had a look around the outside at the Boats for free, and then went exploring more of Roskilde.

    If you are interested, it is OPEN....
    23. June - 31. August 10 - 5PM
    1. September - 22. June 10 - 4PM
    Closed over Christmas

    ADMISSION BETWEEN MAY & SEPTEMBER.....ADULTS....100DKK STUDENTS...80DKK
    ADMISSION BETWEEN OCTOBER - APRIL.......ADULTS....60DKK STUDENTS...70DKK

    Viking Museum Viking Museum Viking museum
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    ROSKILDE MUSEUM

    by balhannah Updated Aug 22, 2012

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    A museum we visited was Roskilde Museum. The permanent exhibition is one of the largest local history collections. In here, we learnt about Roskilde city's cultural history, and even saw findings from Stone Age.
    The Museum was ok, I didn't think anything outstanding. Probably would have been easier and more enjoyable if it had English sub-titles.

    ADMISSION IN 2012....Adults 25dkk...Pensioners, students: DKK 15
    0-17 years: Free

    Free entry with Copenhargen card

    OPEN DAILY....11 - 4PM

    Museum item Museum item Museum item
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    ROSKILDE CATHEDRAL

    by balhannah Updated Aug 22, 2012

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    Roskilde Cathedral, how can you miss it, you can't, as it can seen from miles around! It is located on a rise in Roskilde, and has two copper plated towers and tall spires.
    It's also situated in the medieval part of the city and is believed to be one of the first major buildings built.

    This Cathedral isn't the original. As with many, it took the place of several wooden churches that once stood here.
    The cornerstones of this twin-spired cathedral was laid by Bishop Absalon, [the founder of Copenhagen]. The Cathedral was built out of red bricks around 1170, Scandinavia's first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick. There has been additions over the years. Porches and Chapels have been added to the main building in different architectural designs, so now it incorporates both Gothic and Romanesque architectural design.

    Since the 1536, Roskilde Cathedral has been the mausoleum and burial place for 40 Danish Kings and Queens.
    It's an amazing sight inside the Cathedral and I must see.

    In 1995 the cathedral was included in UNESCO's list of the world's inalienable cultural treasures.

    OPENING HOURS....
    1st April to 30th September
    Monday - Saturday - 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
    Sundays and holy days - from 12.30 to 5.00 pm

    1st October to 31st March
    Monday closed
    Tuesday-Saturday - 10.00 am - 4.00 pm
    Sundays and holy days - from 12.30 to 4.00 pm

    ADMISSION IN 2012...Adults 60dkk

    Free entry with Copenhagen card

    Conducted tours of The Great Hall. It contains illustrations, objects and models illustrating a thousand years of Cathedral history from the early Middle Ages.
    The website has details of available times.

    Roskilde Cathedral Part of the Roskilde Cathedral Roskilde Cathedral Roskilde Cathedral
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    GREYFRIARS CEMETERY

    by balhannah Written Aug 22, 2012

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    Greyfriars Cemetery is quite close to the Railway station, and is worth a look at.

    It is very different to other cemeteries, as the headstone's are hidden behind well trimmed small hedges, in locations anywhere on the lawn. The Franciscan chapel was built in 1855, replacing a larger Church. You look down to the Church along a pathway lined with trees.
    Everything here is in a pretty, park-like setting.

    Greyfriars Cemetery Greyfriars Cemetery Franciscan Abbey
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    ROSKILDE PALACE

    by balhannah Written Aug 21, 2012

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    Roskilde Palace is next door to the Cathedral, just look for the bright golden yellow building.
    It was built in the 1730's and still operates in part as a Bishop’s Palace. The Palace is made up of four wings, and the Absalon Arch joins the Palace and Roskilde Cathedral. The Palace was the residence of the Royal family when they were passing through or attending royal funerals. It also was where the historic meeting took place of the Assembly of the Realm, that resulted in the Danish Constitution.

    I walked around the inner courtyard, then we headed into the Museum in the Palace.

    The Palace Garden is used for exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events.

    Roskilde Palace Roskilde Palace Roskilde Palace Roskilde Palace
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