Wednesday, 27 June 2012


We decided to venture out to Roskilde which is 36 km west of Copenhagen. It was founded in the 10th century by the Vikings and was Denmark’s first capital. We had chosen one of the worst days weather-wise as it was pouring with rain when we arrived. We hadn’t brought our jackets as the weather had seemed OK when we left. As we had caught the train earlier than expected and arrived there before 10 am no shops were open to be able to buy an umbrella. We scurried down the deserted streets to a cafĂ©, then to the town square. We huddled in the verandah of the Tourist Information office hoping the rain would ease, it didn’t.  At 10 I sent Alan to buy two umbrellas at a ’20 krona shop’.
There is an interesting Cathedral here, for more than 1000 years there have been churches where the cathedral now stands. The present brick church was started in the 1170s and the construction lasted more than 100years. The body of the church was completed in 1280 and since them it has been extended a number of times over the centuries. A number of the kings and queens of Denmark have been buried here with tombs ranging from the simple to the over the top ornate.

Altar Roskilde Cathedral

Like many of the Danish churches the interior is quite simple with embellishments on the altar, pulpit and organ and some pictures here and there. I call it ‘muted baroque’ which is a contradiction of terms. Overall it was very interesting and with the entrance fee we received a really good guide.

We started out to the Viking Museum and followed the street directions but we were walking through this park that seemed to lead nowhere and it was still pouring rain. Thinking we were going the wrong way we turned back and went to the Tourist office and asked directions. Ultimately we were going in the right direction, however first we went to the Roskilde palace which has been turned into an experimental art gallery. We looked at some of the exhibits which proved more interesting than we thought they would be.
We decided to have lunch before we went to the Viking Museum. It was still raining as we made our way there. They had found 5 Viking ships that had been scuttled in the harbour the blockade it against attack. Archeologists had painstakingly recovered them and pieced together as to their size and the types of ships they were. They then built replicas of them and the largest one they sailed to Ireland. The museum keeps alive the skills the Vikings used to build their ships. The displays are extremely informative.

Viking Ship

By the time we had finished looking at the museum the rain had stopped. We then wandered back into the town to the railway station to make our way back to Copenhagen.

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