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Enjoy the town

The historic, medieval city of Roskilde above Roskilde Fjord is one of Denmark’s oldest market towns, the beautiful area inside the old ramparts an important part of Skjoldungernes Land National Park. 

Visiting the town

Wander through Roskilde’s small medieval streets to experience the atmosphere, green parks and churchyards. Visit Roskilde Cathedral, the Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde Museum and the many other museums, churches and monasteries that present the city’s culture and history. Enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the city’s many cafés or visit the market to shop for local foods.

Or take a beautiful walk overlooking the fjord from the cathedral, through the City Park and to the Viking Ship Museum, where reconstructions of Viking ships rock gently along the quayside.

St Jørgensbjerg

With its small, narrow streets and old, thatched fishermen’s cottages St Jørgensbjerg is worth a visit. Stop at St Jørgensbjerg Church, which is one of Denmark’s oldest stone churches, or visit the studio of artist L.A. Ring.

The royal history of Roskilde

A thousand years ago Roskilde was an insignificant port west of Lejre, the ancient home of mythological kings. According to legend, King Roar founded the city in that latter half of the 10th century where Roar’s spring is located. Harald Bluetooth built a royal estate and a wooden church, located where Roskilde Cathedral is today and where he was reportedly buried. Bluetooth’s son, Sweyn Forkbeard, expanded the church and the city.

In 1020 Roskilde became a diocese and the church a cathedral, with Bishop Absalon commencing construction of Roskilde Cathedral in 1170. It would become Denmark’s tallest church and a beacon for brick construction throughout the Nordic region.

In the Middle Ages when Roskilde was the seat of kings and one of Denmark’s most important cities a large number of churches and monasteries were built, many of which can still be seen. Roskilde was the seat of kings until the 15th century, when the crown moved east to Copenhagen.

Roskilde Museum

This cultural history museum’s exhibitions on Sankt Ols Stræde tell the history of Roskilde from ancient times to today, touching also on the history of the Kingdom of Denmark. In the old part of town, also visit Lützhøfts Old Grocer’s Shop, the Craft Museum and the Butcher Shop, all of which are run by the museum.

St Lawrence Church Ruins

Visit the subterranean church ruins and its museum on medieval churches. Built in 1100 out of limestone, the church was torn down in 1531. The crypt has been excavated and is open to visitors. Explore the old prison cells and also visit the church tower, which affords a fine view of Roskilde.

Kællingehaven

This salt marsh and peninsula west of Roskilde Harbour is a great place to walk along the fjord to Boserup Forest. Stone Age refuse heaps with oyster shells have been found in the area.

Roskilde Cathedral

One-thousand years old, Roskilde Cathedral houses the royal chapels where 21 kings and 18 queens are buried, the largest number in the world. Find more information

Roskilde Museum

Roskilde Museum presents the city of Roskildes cultural history but also finds and artefacts from the area, dating from the Stone Age to today. Find more information

Viking Ship Museum

See the 5, world-famous Viking ships that were discovered in Roskilde Fjord in 1962 and learn about the historical role they played in war, commerce and journeys to distant lands. Find more information

Aktiviteter

The old, historical city of Roskilde has a lot to offer. Find more inspiration on the website of VisitRoskilde

© Foto: Roskilde by fra oven; Ole Malling. Skt. Jørgensbjerg; VisitRoskilde, Unge på cafe; Roskilde Kommune, Roskilde Domkirke; Ole Malling.