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Sightseeing in Roskilde - what to see. Complete travel guide

Roskilde is an old city that is situated not far from the capital of Denmark. The former residence of the Danish kings, Roskilde is nowadays a peaceful settlement with the steady and unhurried countryside lifestyle. Local people do not hurry to modernize their homeland and leave their historic heritage behind, so they carefully maintain old buildings and dwellings. The city is located at the seaside, and so many tourists not only take a stroll on the attractive streets of Roskilde but also visit the local port and admire numerous yachts of different sizes that are docked here. The port area offers striking sea views, and the sounds of arriving ships only add a special charm.
According to historic documents, many of which are very old, the first mentions of Roskilde date back to 980. The Danish settlement got its name after the legendary King Roar who supposedly lived here at the beginning of the 6th century. The king did much for the development of the town, and so it was decided to immortalize the Danish ruler and call the city after him. Roskilde was the capital of Denmark until 1443. Besides that, it was the main religious and trading center of the country. However, the importance of Roskilde started decreasing drastically soon.
King Eric of Pomerania ordered to change the capital to Copenhagen. As expected, this decision had a negative impact on the destiny of the former center of the country. The reforms, which took place in 1536, only worsened the situation. The Reformation had a devastating result on the local religious centers – almost twenty monasteries were destroyed. Because of this, Roskilde turned into a silent and powerless settlement. The population of the city decreased as well. The 17th century was particularly hard for the Danish city. Roskilde had to endure a plague epidemic, several fires, and a war with Sweden. In 1658, a peace treaty was signed in Roskilde. Copyright
There are several interesting museums in Roskilde, and the national museum dedicated to Viking ships is definitely one of the most interesting to visit. The Viking Ship Museum is the right place to find out more about the history of Viking boats and shipbuilding in general. The exhibition covers a big period of shipbuilding starting from prehistoric times and until the Middle Ages. The museum’s collection provides insight into the look and construction of different boat types. In the 70s of the 11th century, five Viking ships were scuttled deliberately near Roskilde to block the navigation canal and protect the city from the sea attacks. When the ships were excavated in 1962, it turned out that there were several ships of different classes, both warships and cargo ships.
The opening of the museum happened in 1969. The organizers of the unique exhibition were eager to show the five legendary Viking ships to visitors. In the 90s, the museum’s collection increased greatly because of the new treasures that had been excavated in the sea. Nine more ancient ships were rescued from the depths of the sea, including a warship, the length of which is thirty-six meters. There is a workshop in the museum where visitors can see how masters carefully restore the medieval ships. The archaeological workshop is a great place to watch scientists study different findings discovered at the seaside or during diving tours.
Would you like to visit the main religious attraction in Roskilde? In this case, don’t forget to explore the city’s cathedral that gave rise to the Gothic architecture across Europe. The building of the eye-catching cathedral started in the 12th century and lasted two hundred years. Its design features and interesting combination of the Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles. Until the 20th century, the Roskilde Cathedral was the only cathedral in Zealand. Many Dutch monarchs were buried in this cathedral in the 15th century. As many as 38 royals found their last resort in this famous church. The chapels that the shrine consists of are named after the deceased rulers.
The Roskilde Cathedral got a pipe organ as a gift in 1554. The beautiful church was expanded and rebuilt several times in the coming centuries. The main Boys’ choir was established here in 1987. The choir is still very popular and regularly makes international tours with performances in different cities of Europe and America. The cathedral is a very popular tourist attraction. Every year, more than one hundred and twenty-five thousand guests visit this church. The cathedral is still active and has weekend masses. Additionally, there are music concerts that regularly take place here.
As a rule, tourists travel to Roskilde from Copenhagen. It takes only twenty-five minutes by train to reach the former capital of Denmark from the current one. Besides this route, there are daily trains from Koge to the ancient Danish city. The journey time is also no more than twenty-five minutes in this case. If you travel from Naestved, the journey will be significantly longer – almost one hour. Travelers, who enjoy exploring new places in a car, should choose route Pte21 that leads to Roskilde from the capital of Denmark.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Roskilde and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all castles
Survived castles around Roskilde
♥   Castle 'Roskilde Palace' , 0.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Ledreborg Palace' , 9.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Selsø Castle' , 12 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Holbæk Castle' , 19 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Castle 'Jægerspris Castle' , 24.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all parks
National and city parks around Roskilde
♥   National Park 'Dalby Söderskog' , 78 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   National Park 'Söderåsen' , 85.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Roskilde from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Turning Torso

From the series “Twisted Spiral Buildings and Towers That Are Real”
The place of construction of the skyscraper has also been chosen by chance. A few years ago on the site of the building one could see a unique Kockumskranen crane. It was indispensable in the construction of ships and became a real symbol of the city. When in 2002 the construction company Burmeister & Wain went bankrupt, the crane was sold to Korea for a symbolic price - 1 dollar. The Turning Torso skyscraper that appeared in its place became a new symbol of the city and entered the number of the most incredible architectural constructions of our time. … Read further

Amalienborg Palace

From the series “Rococo Architecture – Famous Monuments”
The beautiful palace is accessible to tourists all year round. Interesting excursions are conducted through old mansions. You can admire their luxurious design during these excursions. A rich collection of old works of art, antique furniture, sculptures, and valuable interior decorations is kept in the Royal residence. The best masters of Europe worked on their creation. … Read further
Car rental on Rentals in Roskilde

Preferred to Open 9 New Hotels in 2022

In September 2022, the Sommerro hotel in Oslo will start operating in a carefully restored 1930s Art Deco building. This building is a true landmark of Frogner, a historic neighborhood of the Norwegian capital. A multi-million-dollar renovation carefully turned the largest preservation project in Norway into a modern hotel with 231 rooms, including 56 residences. Preferred will open five more hotels in 2022, namely, The Wall Street Hotel in New York, Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences on Singer Island (Florida, the US), TOA Hotel & Spa in Zanzibar, Pendry hotel in Washington, and Pendry Park City hotel in Utah. Read this


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Sightseeing in regions nearby Roskilde

All about Roskilde, Denmark - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with - find out the 'must see' things in Roskilde, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Roskilde in few days. - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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