Experiencing Roskilde – part 1

April 12, 2010

For the science stuff; 

Wow, this weekend was really great! On Friday I was really exhausted and went right home from the University (RUC), ate dinner and crashed in my room. I love to hang with Hartvig and Stein, but I need time by my lonesome from time to time – again, there is no doubt about that :)

I decided to take some time off to see Roskilde. That is, to see Roskilde without dirty beer drinking music lovers that usually take over the town in summer (Roskildefestivalen). Although I’ve been to that event a couple of times (:D and love it!) I must say it is much lovelier this time of the year with the beautiful blooming gardens and clean streets…

On Saturday I went to see the Roskilde Cathedral. It was huge! Even though I’m not a religious person it struck me with awe… – All the kings and queens that lies there dating back to the end of the year 900… gives me goose bumps. For anyone visiting the town I would recommend at least a short visit (and to you mamma, if you read this, I WILL get you pictures in time, just didn’t bring my camera this time around…). More info on the Cathedral can be found here: Roskilde Cathedral.

On Sunday I visited the great Museum of Vikingships in Roskilde. More info on that can be found here: Vikingeskibsmuseet. It was quite similar to the one found in Oslo, but I dare say (I’m sorry) a bit fresher with their state of the art buildings. I’ll post some pictures very soon.

I actually didn’t know that Roskilde and the area around played such an important part in both Danish and Scandinavian history. I learned a great deal. The five ships that are put on display were excavated from 1957-1959. The ships were sunk (probably in summer 1079) as part of an under water defence. The construction would force incoming ships to take routes where they more easily could be discovered by land posts. The need for these massive measures arose with the increasing threats of a Norwegian attach. Historians assume that an attack sprung out from Kragerø in Norway actually took place around this time.

Even more fascinating, I think, is the display of a reconstruction of one of these ships. It is a long ship they have called Havhingsten or the Sea Stallion of Glendalough (the original ship was probably built in Dublin in the year 1042).

The reconstruction was sailed (and rowed) from Roskilde, via Norway, the Orkney Isles and Scottland through storm and seasickness all the way to Dublin where it was displayed for 10 months. From there on, it journeyed through the Celtic Sea, the English coast to Holland and the North Sea and back to Denmark. Quite impressive. It must have been quite a ride! :) More info about this project can be found here: Havhingsten.