The Scandinavian Adventure: Copenhagen – Roskilde

The Scandinavian Adventure: Copenhagen – Roskilde

This post was updated on August 31st, 2018

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Today we woke up to a sunny day — after two days of gray and rainy weather it was just about time, as neither of us had fancied starting the bike ride in Denmark on a rainy day.
But now we didn’t have to. We only had to get ready first 🙂

I had plotted today’s route into my GPS, planning for it to take us all the way to Odde with a stop in Roskilde, but we also had both a map of Danish cycling routes, which was supposed to help us when the GPS would fail.
I had thought that, if we followed the national routes out of Copenhagen, it would be easiest for us, and we shouldn’t encounter any difficulties. Well I was wrong. Getting out of Copenhagen still was a nerve-wracking ride as we were pointed into directions that just did not add up. We eventually managed to get out of the city and were following southbound smaller roads and bicycle paths. When I planned this route, I had deliberately chosen to go on the southbound route to later turn north-west, as it looked like the route with the best cycling paths, even though it might add a couple of extra kilometers.
Unfortunately, already in the outskirts of Copenhagen, we lost the route for the first time. The sign that we were supposed to follow just wasn’t readable from where we were coming. Thankfully we figured that something was off before too late, so we didn’t lose that much time. Not yet at least.

Lost again…

It was a beautiful day for bike riding, and on these roads we weren’t bothered by traffic either, so I just enjoyed the ride. We had a short break at a harbor cafe in Ishøy, before we continued our ride toward Greve. In Greve, though, the sign for our route was gone. We had no clue how to continue the ride. So we spent two hours looking for signs to tell us where to go.
The young woman, at the gas station, that I had asked had no clue of how to get to Roskilde…
But eventually I found an elder gentleman who was able to point us into the right direction, and he even gave us directions that we could follow on our bikes and did not just send us to the nearest Interstate.
Yet we had lost so much time…
When we finally arrived in Roskilde it was already 4p.m., and I still wanted to visit the famous cathedral of Roskilde. Solo decided to surprise me and ruled that we would stay in Roskilde for the night, rather than pushing on. This way we would have a fair chance to not only visit the dome but also the Vikingship Museum.
Unfortunately the cathedral was to close just an hour after we had arrived, so we hurried to find a hotel for the night and just checked in, to have a place for our clothes, before we went onto our little sightseeing tour through the cathedral. I hadn’t quite planned on visiting a cathedral in cycling clothes…but well there is worse than that.

A visit to the Cathedral of Roskilde

The current cathedral of Roskilde is erected in replacement of an earlier wooden church built by —or rather commissioned by — Harald 1. Blåtand (* ca. 910, † 987) — Harald Bluetooth — the king who united Denmark and brought Christianity to Denmark. According to Adam from Bremen, King Harald Blåtand was buried in the church that he commissioned, yet this information is not necessarily trustworthy, as Adam from Bremen († after 1087), a magister scholarum, wrote this as an argument to get an arch bishops post for Denmark, yet the grave that was supposed to be of Harald Blåtand is empty.

So in 1170 the construction of the brick-cathedral of Roskilde was started by bishop Absalon. In the first years of the building period the cathedral was supposed to be done in a Romanesque style. This style was later abandoned, as the Gothic style became modern. The construction was completed in the 14th century, yet additions were made to it until the 20th century.

The cathedral is also the mausoleum for 40 Danish Kings and Queens, whose tombs are placed in four chapels of which the chapel of King Christian IV — decorated with Romantic style bronze statues, frescoes and paintings showing stations of his life — is the most impressive one.

On the upper floor we visited a rather small yet informative museum, which shows the history of the cathedral.

Time passed very fast, especially since we only had an hour for the entire visit of the cathedral. Too soon we had to leave the cathedral and find a place to have dinner, before we called it a day and made it back to our hotel room for a well deserved rest.
Tomorrow, before we will continue our bike ride toward Odde, we have plans to visit another museum, which already was closed when we left the cathedral.


Roskilde Museum skriver:
I 1746 oprettede købmand og rådmand Hans Rasmussen Lange og hans hustru Anna Margrethe von Essen den Langerske stiftelse i Roskilde.
I fundatsen hertil oplyses det, at Lange allerede i 1718 havde ladet opføre et hus, på det der i dag er adressen Skolegade 11. Huset, som havde gård og have, var indrettet med to boliger til fattige.
Ifølge fundatsen fra 1746 skulle boligerne stilles til rådighed for pårørende eller slægt til Lange eller hans hustru – fortrinsvis enker. I 1874 blev huset solgt til den københavnske hørkræmmer Wilhelm Christian Topp, hvis hustru stammede fra Roskilde. Topp indrettede huset som en slags legatbolig for sin hustrus søster Marie Therese Elisabeth Rasmussen. Hun opsatte efter dennes død i 1883 et skilt på huset med teksten ”Wilhelm Topps Minde 1874”.
Boet blev solgt til tømrermesterslægten Weber, som på dette tidspunkt også ejede ejendommene Skolegade 5,7 og 9.
Weberfamilien solgte i 1940 hele husrækken til Roskilde Domkirke, så kirken kunne sikre sine nærmeste omgivelser mod højt byggeri.
Fra 1967 stod Wilhelm Topps Minde ubeboet i en årrække, og det var stærkt forfaldent i begyndelsen af 1970’erne. Som følge heraf blev der iværksat en omfattende renovering, som var afsluttet i efteråret 1975.
Efter renoveringen er der nærmest tale om et nyt hus, hvor bygningens facade er en tro kopi af originalen.

Roskilde Museum writes:

In 1746 the Lansgerske stiftelse (Langerske foundation) in Roskilde was founded by merchant and councilman Hand Rasmussen Lange and his wife Anna Margrethe von Essen.
The charta of this formation informs that, already in 1718, Lange had a house built, which today is at the address of Skolegade 11 in Roskilde. The house, which included a farm and garden, was furnished with two apartments for poor people. According to the chart from 1746 the apartments were to be made available for the relatives or family members of Lange or his wife, preferably for widows. In 1874 the house was sold to the flax-shopkeeper Wilhelm Christian Topp from Copenhagen, whom’s wife was from Roskilde. Top furnished the house as a kind of scholarship residence for his wife’s sister Marie Therese Elisabeth Rasmussen. She put a sign with the text “Wilhelm Topps Minde 1874” onto the house after Wilhelm Topps Minde had died.
The house was sold to the carpenter family Weber, who at the time also owned the properties of Skolegade 5, 7 and 9.
The Weber family sold the entire row of houses in 1940 to the Roskilde Domkirke, so that the church could secure its closest surroundings against high buildings.
From 1967 the Wilhelm Topps Minde house was uninhabited for several years, and it was highly dilapidated in the beginning of the 1970s. As a consequence a comprehensive restoration was started, which was finished in 1975.
After the renovation it has become almost a new house, where the building’s facade is a true copy of the original.

If you liked this post, you might also like the other stories from my Scandinavian Adventure:

You can find more photos from Denmark on my website.

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