Scandinavia 2019 Travel Blog – June 25

By Kim Andersen

Roskilde, day 9, Tuesday, June 25

Continuing the royal theme from yesterday, today took us to Roskilde Cathedral, the burial sight of a good 40 Danish kings and queens (most are authenticated, some are said to be buried there although no evidence has been found in floors, walls, or in sarcophagi). It has been a scorching hot day. Plenty of water around the Danish isles, so, muggy to boot. A hostel room facing south is like a sauna in the afternoon. Not a wind moves and there are a few things Danes have never heard about: decaf coffee or tea, potable water fountains, and air conditioning. Denmark normally is highly air-conditioned but on a day like this…

Anna, our guide did a splendid job (one and a half hour!!) taking us through the history of Roskilde Cathedral. Not only the longest, most detailed and relevant content I have ever experienced by a guide in the cathedral but also with excellent delivery. The cathedral is listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its early medieval brick construction. The many side-chapels added during the centuries to hold the royal tombs display the changing architectural fashions.

Afterwards we headed downhill to the Viking Ship Museum by the waterfront. The story of the five ships deliberately sunken in the shallow fjord to block access is a window into turbulent times. Roskilde itself is worth a visit. It moves at a different pace than the capital Copenhagen which is the magnet these years for the young from all over Denmark. They seem to crave the hectic entertainment atmosphere offered by the capital. It s believed to have swelled to a population of close to 2 million. Somewhat disconcerting.

Guided tour standing infront of the altar piece
The altar piece in Roskilde Cathedral
Group following a guided tour.
Anna guiding us in Roskilde Cathedral