As part of the programme of the Alternative Weeks (which is kind of a two weeks break out of IPC’s life, including school trips and sensibilisation to the Danish Culture), I had the opportunity to participate to a full day excursion to Roskilde with students and teachers. It was a good opportunity to discover one of the oldest city of Denmark, closly linked to the Danish Royal Family’s history.


The alternative weeks crew in front of the Roskilde Cathedral

Quick infos about Roskilde

The most important thing to know about this central city of the Sealand situated at thirty ish kilometers from Copenhagen is that it has been the capital city of Denmark from the tenth to the fifteenth century. This is also where, on the 26th of february of 1958, the peace treaty between the King of Denmark-Norway Frederik III and the king of Sweden Charles X Gustave have been signed. It included for the king of Denmark to give several provinces to the kingdom of Sweden.
Architecturally, there is two main places to visit if you’ve got the chance to go to Roskilde: the Roskilde Cathedrale and the main station, which is the oldest train station of Denmark. Culturally, the most famous festival of Denmark – considered like the “Danish Coachella”- is taking place there every summer. There is also the Viking Vessels Museum.

Remnant of a viking ship

The remnant of a Viking Ship in the Viking Vessels Museum of Roskilde

The Viking Vessels Museum

This viking ship museum comemorates this wonderful age for the scandinavian past and also the logistical knowledge behind all this nomade culture. It exposes ships from the XIth century. One of the most famous replica of a viking sail from 1402 named Skuldev 2 is stated there. Some Viking outfits are also available to visit the museum as in the skin of a real viking. This museum is the best way to learn more about this golden era and is, for sure, a to do thing if you are staying in Denmark for a while.

viking vessels museum

Our volunteer, Lucile, and Aki, a japanese student of IPC, trying viking outfits.

The Roskilde “Saint Trinity” Cathedral

This is main cultural and architectural attraction of the city. This is mostly because it has been the only Cathedral in Seeland until the XXth century. This is the first scandinavian gothic cathedral built with bricks in northern Europe around the XIIth and XIIIth century. Because a lot of chapel has been built years after years to welcome the royal family, it is now a great manifesto of the evolution of the religious european architecture. That’s why this is the official necropolis of the Royal Family of Denmark: it welcomes 22 reigning monarchs. It makes this monument, considering the cultural and architectural impact of it in Denmarks, one of the UNESCO world heritage since 1995. The cathedral welcomes more than 150 000 visitors per years. It’s understanable considering the beauty of it. Personaly, I’ve been amazed by the size of it, and the awesome mix of every architectural style.

Roskilde cathedral 2

The inside of the Roskilde Saint Trinity Cathedral


The Danish necropolis of the royal family, in the Roskilde Cathedral

Lucile, Spring term 2018 volunteer