The Town of Roskilde

The medieval town of Roskilde forms an important part of Skjoldungernes Land National Park. Wander through the narrow 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 convey 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.

The History of Roskilde as a Royal City

1000 years ago, Roskilde was an insignificant harbor west of the legendary kings' Lejre. According to legend, King Roar founded the city at "Roar's spring" in the late 10th century. Harald Bluetooth built a royal estate and a wooden church in 980, where he allegedly also was buried. The wooden church was located where Roskilde Cathedral stands today. Harald's son, Svend Tveskæg, thereafter expanded the church and the city.

In 1020, Roskilde became the throne of the bishop and the church became a cathedral. Then in 1170, Bishop Absalon continued a further construction of Roskilde Cathedral as a brick-built Gothic-style basilica. This unique architecture put the cathedral on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1995.

Since the 1400s, Roskilde Cathedral has been the preferred church of the Danish royal family. The church’s four large chapels and choir contain the graves of 21 kings and 18 queens and the future funeral monument for Denmark's current queen Margrethe the 2nd.

St Jørgensbjerg and Roskilde Habor

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. Roskilde Harbor connects the old fishermans neighborhood to the southern part of Roskilde Fjord. Experience a lively marina, the Vikingship Museum, or start your hike from here north along the Skjoldunge Trail.