Thursday, July 19, 2007

Day trip by train to Roskilde


Pat hit another home run today with her suggestion that we take a day trip out to Roskilde. It's a small town 30-minutes west of Copenhagen by train. We're getting very good at using local transportation, and were in Roskide soon after breakfast. The town is home to a church, built in the eleventh century, where a long line of Danish kings were crowned, and later buried in ornate, marble sarcophogi in the basement and separate rooms of the church. I normally don't like paying to get into a church, but made an exception due to it's high rating in the tourist books. When do you get to see almost a thousand years of coffins? The furniture architectural value should be worth something.

Roskilde usually is known for its annual rock music festival (held two weeks ago), and we walked through a park area near town which held some of the events. It was cleaned up well,and lots of families were using it now.

The other reason for going to Roskilde was the Viking Boat Museum. Roskilde is located at the southern end of a large fjord. Long ago (1060 A.D.), during a time when the Danish King wanted to thwart the invasion plans of the Swedish King, the locals sank some of their old boats at a shallow chokepoint in the journey up the fjord to their town. In 1969, a section of the fjord was buoyed and the remains of five unique boats were excavated. It took decades of restoration work before the wood could be protected from deterioration, analyzed, and reconstructed. One of the largest warrior boats found, which turned out to have been made in 1042 in Dublin, was among those recovered.

The five boats are displayed in a museum which is located on the edge of the fjord, and in which the visitor can see reconstruction work contining on other,more recent finds. Next to the museum is a marina, where we had lunch and watched the locals deposit their sailboats in the water for use.

Here is a link to all of the photos we took today: Copenhagen Thursday

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