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.

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.

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