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Roskilde Cathedral
Roskildes våben.png
Coat of arms
Country Denmark
Region Region Sjælland
Municipality Roskilde Municipality
 - coordinates 55°39′N 12°05′E / 55.65°N 12.083°E / 55.65; 12.083Coordinates: 55°39′N 12°05′E / 55.65°N 12.083°E / 55.65; 12.083
Population 45,824 (2008)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal codes 4000

Roskilde (Danish pronunciation: [ˈʁʌskilə]) is the main city in Roskilde Municipality, Denmark on the island of Zealand. It is an ancient city, dating from the Viking Age.

Roskilde train station is a major stop between Copenhagen and the region of Denmark located to its west. With a population of 45,824, the city is an economic center for the region.

Roskilde has a pedestrian street running down the center of the city - with myriad shops, restaurants, and cafes. Several tourist attractions draw visitors from around Denmark and the world. The local university has an education program that invites international students to attend for a year.



According to Adam of Bremen and Saxo Grammaticus, in the 980s, Harald I of Denmark built a church and a royal estate in Roskilde. Saxo Grammaticus associates the name Roskilde with the legendary King Roar who possibly lived there in the 6th century. Harald was buried at the church which is on the same site as today's Roskilde Cathedral.

In 1020, Roskilde became a bishopric, making it the church's most important town in Denmark. Absalon, the Danish bishop, had a brick church built there in 1170 which later became the cathedral. In the following years, under Absalon's influence, many other churches were built in the town.

The former city hall of Roskilde, completed in 1884

Roskilde was given the status of a market town in 1268. It was probably the largest and most important town in Denmark at the time. With the support of the Roman Catholic Church, it continued to thrive until 1443. But as a result of the reformation and the closure of the Roman Catholic Church in Denmark it lost its earlier status. Roskilde Cathedral did however continue to be the place where the kings and queens of Denmark were buried.

The town suffered from plague, wars with the Swedes and a number of devastating fires in the 17th century but began to recover in the 18th century with the opening of the railway from Copenhagen in 1847. More recently, with the establishment of the Viking Ship Museum in 1969, Roskilde has been recognised as a cultural and educational centre in Denmark with the first Roskilde Festival in 1971 and the university which opened 1972.

Tourist attractions

West face of the Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark. (2004)

Roskilde Cathedral

The city's early importance is evident from the fact that the Roskilde Cathedral was the only cathedral in Zealand until the 20th century. Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, it was the first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick and its construction encouraged the spread of this style throughout northern Europe. The cathedral is the burial site for Danish monarchs and is a major tourist attraction with more than 125,000 visitors annually. Since 1995 the cathedral has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A working church, it also hosts concerts throughout the year.

Connected to the church is Roskilde Palace, built during 1733-36. Built on the former location of another palace (that of a former bishop of Roskilde), today it is a museum and the residence of the current bishop of Roskilde.[1] The Cathedral is one of the biggest in Denmark and stands on the top of a hill, with a great view over the fjords. Next to the Cathedral is one of Roskilde's many high schools. Every day a few hundred tourists visit the Cathedral and the surroundings.

Viking Ships

Roskilde Wiking03.jpg

Another attraction in the city is the Viking Ship Museum (Vikingeskibsmuseet). The centrepieces of its collection are the well-preserved remains of five Viking ships, excavated from nearby Roskilde Fjord in the late 1960s. The ships were scuttled there in the 11th century to block a navigation channel, thus protecting the city, then the Danish capital, from seaborne assault. The museum also undertakes research in experimental archaeology centered on Viking shipbuilding and seaworthiness. These five ships represents several distinct classes of Viking Ships, such as the Longship, and Warship, and smaller fishing and ferry boats. The ships on display range from 10 feet (3 m) to 50 feet (15 m).[2]

Roskilde Festival

Roskilde festival (2003)

Since 1971 the Roskilde Festival, a rock music festival, has been held annually on the fairgrounds near Roskilde. It has grown to become one of the biggest music festivals in Europe, with a diverse selection of music, including (but not limited to) rock, metal, hip-hop, electronica, dance and world music. All profits from this festival are donated to charities. The fairgrounds are also the site of regionally popular agricultural and animal exhibitions, as well as large flea markets.[3]


Roskilde railway station from the Horse Market (Hestetorvet) 1849
The station as it looks today

Railway station

Roskilde has a four platform railway station with seven tracks which serves as a central hub connecting southern Zealand, the islands of Falster and Lolland, west Zealand and Jutland to Copenhagen.

It is the oldest railway station in Denmark still operating and the first built of stone. The first train arrived from Copenhagen on June 26, 1847.


Opened April 1, 1973, Roskilde has a small airport, serving light aircraft for training, taxi and flight instruction. There are existing plans to expand the airport for use by larger aircraft, which are pending an environmental impact assessment. The airport currently handles up to 100,000 operations (flights) per year.


MGA Entertainment's Denmark division has its headquarters in Roskilde.[4]


The Accident Investigation Board Denmark has its headquarters in Roskilde.[5]

Schools in Roskilde

There are eleven public primary schools in the municipality split up between eleven school districts, six gymnasiums, offering Upper Secondary School Exit Examinations, Higher Preparatory Examinations, Higher Commercial Examination Programme and Higher Technical Examination Programme. There are many adult education, technical and trade schools in addition to the gymnasiums.

Roskilde University

Roskilde University (Danish: Roskilde Universitet, RUC) was founded in 1972. Roskilde University is located in the eastern side of Roskilde in a neighborhood called Trekroner (after a signalman's cabin on the Roskilde-Copenhagen line). RUC hosts students from around the world. RUC has on-campus dormitory style housing and apartments, however, many students commute from Copenhagen to attend RUC.

See also

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Roskilde is in Zealand, Denmark.

Roskilde is an ancient city dating from the Viking age.

  • From Copenhagen Central Station (København H), take Copenhagen-Roskilde-Ringsted line and exit Roskilde station, about a 25 minute trip. The cathedral and viking ship museum are both north of the station.
  • Intercity buses to and from Jutland[1] lines 882 to Fjerritslev and 888 to Århus/Aalborg, makes stop at the Q8 gas station at Darupvej 2, by the highway. It is quite far from the city center, but there are several bus lines connecting from Roskilde Station, e.g. 600S

Roskilde Airport (IATA: RKE, ICAO: EKRK) [2] is Denmark's premier General Aviation facility with planes taking off or landing, every 5 minutes througout the day. It is also the main base for un- or semi scheduled taxi flights to the Kingdoms more remote islands; Copenhagen Airtaxi [3] offers flights to Samsø, Læsø and Anholt for between 1000-1500 DKK, and more or less works as a regular airline, with flights bookable on the company website. Other options include: Samair[4] to Samsø and Starling[5] to Ærø.

Get around

You can easily walk from the train station to the main square with the cathredral and from there to the Viking Ship museum.

Viking ship at the museum
Viking ship at the museum
Roskilde Cathedral
Roskilde Cathedral
  • Roskilde Cathedral, [6]. Roskilde Cathedral (da: Roskilde Domkirke) is on UNESCO's World Heritage List. This is where Danish kings and queens have been buried for a thousand years DKK 25.  edit
  • The Viking Ship Museum, Vindeboder 12 (Follow the signs from the cathredral), ''+45'' 46300200 (), [7]. 10AM-5PM. A museum with several original viking ships, a viking research center, a harbour with copies of viking ships, a shipyard making new ships DKK 95, studens DKK 75, children free.  edit
Viking Centre
Viking Centre
Inside the church
Inside the church
one of the many graves
one of the many graves
workshop in Viking cenre
workshop in Viking cenre
  • Roskilde Museum, Sankt Ols Gade 18, +45 46 31 65 29, [8]. Local history museum, but well in tune with other attractions, it also has a good collection of Viking archaeological finds, some connecting to the saga's about the legendary Beowulf. 25 DKK.  edit


Roskilde Festival

The legendary Roskilde festival [9] is still going strong despite 40 years of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll! started by a group of friends in 1971 inspired by the Woodstock festival, it has grown from a few thousand guests in its first year, to over 115.000 visitors from all over the world, and is routinely sold out with over half the tickets sold outside of Denmark.

The festival takes place in late June early July on Roskilde Dyreskueplads south of the city. To Get in there are several options; from Monday-Sunday during the festival trains depart from Roskilde Station to the festivals very own station inside the camping area (West) every 30 minutes for 20 kroner. There are also shuttle buses from Roskilde Station to the camping area (East) all day during the festival. When arriving at the festival you exchange your ticket to an armband/bracelet which gives you access to both the camping area, and the stage area.

Many people show up a week before the music starts to get their tents up so they can sleep close to the stage area, and limit walking as much as possible as the camping area is huge! A good tip is securing a place as far from trees and fences as possible, since they in essence become one big urinal during the festival, if rain is forecast, you should also attempt to camp as far from the marked walkways, preferably on a slope, since mud quickly becomes and issue.

On the camping grounds there are several service areas with food stalls and supermarkets to stock up with eat & drink, some also have first aid, toilets and showers. Inside the stage area there are also many many restaurants and bars - most of them with a theme, and some of them are really huge and elaborate. There are also many shops where you can buy necessities and other rubbish.

Music is playing from Thursday - Sunday and are usually varied, with some international headline acts, and much experimental and indie music and the smaller stages.

  • sail in a viking boat on the fjord, (at the viking centre).  edit
  • Sagnlandet Lejre, Slangealleen 2, 4320 Lejre (Bus 233 from Roskilde station), +45 4648 0878 (), [10]. Become a Viking for a day, in this spectacular hands on history museum.  edit
boats at viking centre
boats at viking centre
  • Snekken, Vindeboder 16, ''45'' 46359816, [11]. 11.30AM-11PM. Restaurant at Viking Ship museum with a view over Roskilde fjord DKK 100.  edit
  • MS Sagafjord, at the harbour next to the Viking museum, ''+45'' 46756460 (), [12]. Old Restaurant ship. You can have lunch, tea or dinner on Roskilde Fjord. DKK 95 plus e.g., DKK 365 for a three course evening menu.  edit
  • Restaurant Mumm, Karen Olsdatters Stræde 9, +45 46 37 22 01, [13].  edit
  • DANHOSTEL Roskilde Vandrerhjem, (next to the Viking museum), ''+45'' 46352184, [14]. Hostel at the harbour next to the Viking museum. Have dormitories and family rooms DKK 150.  edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ROSKILDE, or Roeskilde, a town of Denmark in the amt (county) of Kjobenhavn (Copenhagen), 20 m. by rail W. of Copenhagen, on the great lagoon-like inlet named Roskilde Fjord. Pop. (Igor) 8368. It has a small port, and is an important railway junction, from which lines diverge W., S.W. and S. through the island of Zealand. Its interest, however, is historical. It was the capital of the kingdom until 1443, and the residence of the bishops of Zealand until the Reformation. The cathedral, a beautiful church, was consecrated in 1084, but of this early building only foundation walls remain; the present structure of brick was begun in 1215, and enlarged and restored at various later dates. It stands in relation to Danish history somewhat as Westminster Abbey does to English, containing the tombs of most of the Danish kings from Harold I. (987). The most noteworthy architectural details are the Chapel of the Trinity (15th century) and that of Christian IV. (Renaissance, 1617), carved choirstalls, and an altar-piece of the 16th century. Other old buildings are a church of Our Lady, dating as it stands from 1242, a diocesan library (partly of the ,5th century), royal palace (1733) and institute for daughters of noblemen (1670).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Danish Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia da

Proper noun


  1. Roskilde, a city on the island of Zealand. The largest city in Region Sjælland and tenth-largest city in Denmark.
  2. The capital of the eponymous municipality in which it is located.

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|250px|left|Roskilde Cathedral]] Roskilde was the capital of Denmark until 1443. Since then, Copenhagen has been the capital.

The most important church in Denmark is in Roskilde. It is where the dead Danish kings are laid to rest. The city also have a yearly music festival called Roskilde Festival. The festival is one of two biggest in Europe.

Roskilde has a population of about 54,000. An important economic activity is tourism.frr:Roskilde


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