Just in 30 km from Copenhagen in a small town of Roskilde there is one of the unique buildings of the Danish kingdom – St. Lucius cathedral. It is the main cathedral of Denmark and the royal chapel, which is the resting place for 39 members of the Danish royal family. There is something symbolic in the fact that the main cathedral of the country was founded here, though, perhaps, it was done on purpose, as a symbol of the denial of paganism and transition to Christianity.
In the village of Vikings local enthusiasts give their tribute to history creating replicas of Viking ships. Doing so, they not only meticulously reproduce the parts of the vessel kit and materials, but also the ship building process that involves medieval tools. The results are so successful that five newly-built vessels are used for tourist voyages of various distances.
From 14 May to 30 September it is possible to cross the fjord of Roskilde by Viking ship. All the participants of the voyage will be involved in the process: setting the mast, rowing and probably steering. The ship leaves every day at different time. So it is required to find out the time of leaving in the ticket office at the entrance to the museum of Viking ships. The journey time is 50 minutes, including distribution of life jackets, learning about the ship and an intensive rowing course. Children under 4 are not allowed on board. Each child must be accompanied by at least one adult.
That will be the start of our excursion around this marvelous town. Having walked along the fjord, we will visit the Viking ship building museum, located nearby. Here everybody can put on Viking clothing, try a heavy sword, sign in the visitors’ book, write their names in the ancient runic letters, look closer at the process of making a sail for a Viking ship, watch a 14-minute video about the life of the Vikings of the time and visit a ship building workshop, where the Viking ships are restored.
In addition, in summer from 25 June to 31 August you can also (at extra cost):
- make your personal Viking coin as a souvenir
- paint a wooden shield according to the individual design
- make a chain of glass beads
- make an amulet with Thor’s hammer
- make a rope out of willow branches
- carve their names on wood in runic characters.
Video about a boat trip:
In 1020 Roskilde became the bishop’s residence, which made this town stand out of the other settlements at once and till the early 15th century it was the capital of the Danish state, but not Copenhagen. It was the place of the monarch residence and the most important decisions were made here too. Therefore, learning more about the epoch of the Vikings we will go to the city museum, where we will be able to see genuine artefacts of the Danish past, trace the history of fashion, furniture, toys and household items of Roskilde citizens.
Unfortunately, ancient original houses have not been preserved in the old capital of Denmark – the town of Roskilde. All of them were demolished either by fire or subject to reconstruction. However, there is a breath-taking place in the town – it is St. Lucius Cathedral, where 39 members of the royal family were buried. In 1170 bishop Absalon – not only a clergy man, a politician and a warrior, but also the founder of Copenhagen started building a new stone cathedral, which was to become the most important cathedral in Denmark. Construction lasted nearly 100 years and was completed in 1280. It required about three million bricks. Today Saint Lucius’s cathedral is a bright specimen of the brick Gothics, in 1995 included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
A walk along the tombs is like a journey along the history of Denmark. The cathedral is divided into 6 large tombs where monarchs of different epochs were buried. Those who found their eternal rest here include:
- Margret I, who managed to unite all Scandinavian states under the Danish umbrella;
- Christian III – the founder of the Danish Protestantism;
- Frederik II, who built Frederiksborg castle;
- Christian IV, who was marked in the history as the "king – builder";
- Frederik V, who the Danes nicknamed the "Kindest", despite his highly loose morale;
- Christian VII, whose name is associated with one of the largest scandals in the history of Denmark.
- Frederik VII, who gave the "green light" to the Constitution of Denmark
- Christian IX, who was called the "European father-in-law", for he managed to arrange family ties with a number of royal families in Europe and many other members of the royal family.
Tour length: 4,5 - 5 hours
1 - 3 people 360 euro*
4 - 7 people 360 euro* plus minibus rental (200 euro)
8 - 15 people upon request.
The price includes the transfer to the museum and guide’s services. The entrance tickets to the Viking shipbuilding museum and the cathedral as well as the food and drinks are not included into the price.
*If during the excursion you have an opportunity and willingness to take a trip on a Viking boat across the fjord, you should take into account the extra time of the guide’s work (50 euro per hour) and the price of boat tickets (95 DKK or 13 euro per person)
Specifics of the tour: an opportunity to see the way the Vikings lived, travelled and entertained themselves. This place will be especially interesting for the children as they will be able to represent the Viking personages and experience their life both on land and in water. During the walk along the royal tombs, we will plunge into the history of the Danish kingdom based on the example of its rulers of the past and present.
Send your requests to our e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +45 20 66 30 93 and we will make you visit to Copenhagen unforgettable. Do not forget to indicate the desired date of the tour, the name of the hotel, where the plan to live in Copenhagen, the number of participants and your mobile phone for communication. You request will be replied within 24 hours.
Distance to Copenhagen: 42 km
Population: 35 618 people at the end of 2013
Town fact file: To the west of Copenhagen you will find the second largest town on the Sealand peninsula. Roskilde is located near a picturesque fjord and is one of the oldest Danish towns. It was named after its legendary founder — king Ro and a holy spring, some of which has been preserved in the outskirts of the town. Roskilde is a former residence of Danish kings from 1020 to 1416, the capital of Denmark till 1443.
Interesting fact: The first section of the railway in Denmark in 1847 was laid between Copenhagen and Roskilde.
Location on the map:
Roskilde was granted the status of the commercial centre in 1268. It was probably one of the largest and most important towns in Denmark at that time. Under support of the Roman Catholic Church, the town successfully developed till 1443. Then the epoch of Reformation came. It immediately turned all Catholics into Protestants and the Roman Catholic church terminated its existence here. As a result Roskilde lost the support of the Church and its special status.
Video about the city of Roskilde:
Since then Roskilde started losing its prosperity: In the times of Eric of Pomerania the capital moved to Copenhagen (1443), then the Reformation set in (1536). Conseuqnetly, some 20 town monasteries were destroyed, and Roskilde became a quiet small town, where the magnificent cathedral with the royal chapel and tombs overlooks the remainder of the past greatness.
Main local signs:
Saint Lucius Cathedral — the main cathedral in Denmark, the chapel and tombs of the Danish kings. It is a bright specimen of Gothic style. The building was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1995.
Pay attention to the clock above the entrance to the cathedral (15th century). On the left there is an image of a knight, Saint Georg, who, as the legends says, killed a horrible monster-dragon that had been terrifying the whole city in the Minor Asia. At 12 sharp the horse, on which Saint Georg is sitting, jumps on the dragon, the latter yells, the clock strikes 12 times, and a female figure shakes her head along with the clock.
It is said that a dweller of Roskilde named Kirsten Kimer nagged at busy people asking them silly questions, and one morning the Devil came for her and took her to the Hell. Whether you believe it or not, the image of the Devil strolling in the world and enlisting those lazy and late is there on one of the tombs.
The royal palace in Roskilde was built by the royal architect Lauritz de Thurah in 1733—1736 and it was used by king Christian VI during his stay in Roskilde. Today the palace is state-owned and is used as the residence of the bishop, and as a museum.
One of the oldest churches in Denmark – Saint Jorgen’s Cathedral
The village of the Vikings – with a ship building yard, serving for the construction of replicas of the Viking boats using the data of archaeological findings. This way they not only meticulously reproduce all the parts of the vessel and the materials, but also the building process involving medieval tools. The results of the work are so successful that five of the newly built vessels are used for tourist trips of different distances.
Local enthusiasts, unless they navigate, entertain the guests of Roskilde, by walking in ancient style clothing, mending ships, making ship ropes and weapons.
The annual music festival in Roskilde involving world-renowned stars.
Rock festival in Roskilde:
This year from 25 June to 2 July in 2016 the outskirts of Roskilde will be converted into a town for several hundred thousand people coming to the festival.
Town photo gallery:
Additional information: official city website.
Copenhagen can offer a lot to curious tourists, gourmets, goers to museums and exhibitions, those who like walking and looking at extraordinary architecture. If it seems to you that you have already been in all corners of the Danish capital, we offer you to set off on a trip around the suburbs of Copenhagen, where you also can see lots of interesting and exciting.
1. The city of Hillerød is especially famous due to the castle of Frederiksborg, described below. Hillerød is also well-known by its park of knowledge and culture, where people gather at weekends to have a good time in the open air. Frankly speaking, the town of Hillerød is tiny but there are shops here and the local shopping mall was awarded with the price for the most beautiful shopping mall in Europe in 1993...Read more
2. If you happen to get interested in seeing the way the Danish elite live, I recommend you to go along the quay to the small Danish city of Humlebæk, located to the north of Copenhagen. This is where the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is situated. Along with the museum Humlebæk may boast the farm of Krogerup, where on 80 hectares organic vegetables are grown, as well as fields and forests. And that is all about Humlebæk....Read more
3. Helsingør is a town on the northeast coast of the Danish island of Zealand. It is famous worldwide as the setting for play "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare. The name of Helsingør originates from the root Hals, meaning a "narrow strait". Helsingør is a beautiful port town with good and rich history, a recently renovated museum of ship building, a ferry, a Carmelite monastery of the 15th century and lots of different events held in this town all year round...Read more
4. Dragør is an ancient settlement on the island of Amager, founded in the early 12th century. Owing to its location next to the Kastrup airport and Swedish Malmo, well-preserved historic centre and proximity to the centre of Copenhagen prices of property here are among the highest in Denmark. A visit to this town will be exciting for the people who like antiquities and ancient architecture, as well as for all those seeking to see beautiful nature and sea views...Read more
5. Køge is an ancient and commercial town to the south of Copenhagen. Many houses here date back to the mid-16th – early 17th centuries. Moreover, in Køge there is an old gothic church of the mid-13th century and one of the oldest preserved wooden buildings erected in 1527. Today Køge is a place of residence for well-off people. It is here that they build mansions to live on the coast of the picturesque Køge bay....Read more
6. The city of Roskilde was named after the legendary founder, King Ro and saint sources (kilde), a part of which has been preserved in the outskirts of the town. Roskilde is the former residence of Danish kings from с 1020 to 1416, the capital of Denmark until 1443. It was here that on 28 February 1658 the Peace Treaty of Roskilde was signed terminating the 40-year Danish-Swedish war...Read more
7. The city of Ringsted is one of the oldest settlements on the Sjaelland peninsula. The history of the town dates back to the beginning of the 11th century, the time of the Vikings. This is the place of the first preserved stone Danish Saint Benedict’s church built in 1170. Despite the age, Ringsted does not make the impression of the historically ancient town. Today’s Ringsted reminds of a commercial and cultural centre with modern built-up area, a congress centre, a concert hall and a town theatre...Read more