Roskilde and the Vikings

Roskilde is a lovely little town a short train ride away from Copenhagen. Though we somehow contrived to take the wrong train and had to return to Copenhagen and finally get the right train. Set at the head of a fjord of the same name, Roskilde was once one of the most important centres in the whole of Denmark. Now with a population of around 50,000 people it is a busy town and tourist centre. There are some beautiful buildings to admire and the Viking Ship Museum is an added attraction for visitors. As you come out of the railway station you come across three giant jars which dominate the walk into the centre. After the jars comes a photo of the main shopping street, then the city hall, part of which is now the tourist information office.
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Brick was an important building material in Roskilde and was used for its famous cathedral. This was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and was apparently the first Gothic cathedral to be built with bricks. It is certainly huge and impressive as can be glimpsed from the front façade shown in the photo below. Beside the cathedral is a beautiful palace painted in a gorgeous bright yellow.
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Like all the Danish towns we visited many of the buildings are painted in bright and light colours. Below are three more. I had to include the first one if only because of its name – the Odd Fellow palace. Not sure what the other buildings are.
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The main attraction for visitors to Roskilde is nowadays the Viking Ship Museum. This is located by the shores of Roskilde fjord, and the first photo shows one of the little jetties by the fjord. This is followed by Kathleen and Alessio on board a viking boat, then one of a ship.
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The museum is not just a collection of old ships but a working shipbuilding yard, where modern versions of the old ships are built in the traditional way. Below are some photos showing the workyard. I am sure some of the tools in the last photo would have been used for other purposed by Vikings of yore!
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The museum does of course have on display an interesting collection of old Viking ships in various stages of disrepair. Some of these boats were very large as can be seen from the first couple of photos below. Then comes a model of a boat complete with colourful sails.
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The museum has other exhibits besides ships. One section is devoted to the clothes people wore in these bygone days and how they were made. One table had a pile of raw wool straight off a sheep, ready to be wound into thread. Below you can see this pile and then Alessio trying very hard to make some thread. Finally some of the colourful fabrics used by the Vikings.
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