Roskilde

Trip Start Jul 07, 2007
1
11
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Trip End Sep 22, 2007


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Thursday, July 19, 2007

The plan for today was to drive to Roskilde and see the Cathedral, town and Viking museum.  We looked like we might get off to an early start as we were both awake early, but Tor fell asleep again!  We eventually reached Roskilde at about 12:00pm, at which point it was Gavin's turn to take a nap whilst Tor scouted the shops :)

An hour and a half later, it was time for a late and leisurely lunch at Cafe 42.  Suddenly it was 3pm (everything closes at 5pm), so we decided we only had time to walk through the town and visit the Cathedral and that we would have to come back on Friday to visit the Viking Museum on the way to Copenhagen.  The Cathedral in Roskilde is magnificent, probably not much larger than Worcester Cathedral in actual size, but more striking in many ways.  Since the 16th Century, Roskilde Cathedral has been the resting place of choice for most of the Kings and Queens of Denmark, but there are several earlier monarchs who are also buried there.  Royal sarcophagi ranged from modest to truly grandiose, with earlier tombs often being the most lavish and later ones the most understated.  There were frescoes, paintings and tombstones, an interesting clock and an impressive looking and sounding organ.  It is easy to see why it is considered such an important building and why so many people chose to visit it.

Friday we returned to Roskilde and visited the Viking Ship Museum. Seems that a number of ships were scuttled in the nearby fjord around the 11th century for security by creating a blockade that attackers had to travel around. These were excavated by walling them off and creating a small island. Took about 25 years to excavate, catalogue, preserve and piece together the 5 ships found. Varying states of condition but about 100,000 pieces - some jigsaw. They have now made reconstructions using traditional techniques that looked impressive. Will try and find some good photos to show.
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