Roskilde Cathedral

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Roskilde Cathedral
UNESCO world heritage UNESCO World Heritage Emblem

Roskilde Cathedral aerial crop.jpg
Roskilde Cathedral, 2016
National territory: DenmarkDenmark Denmark
Type: Culture
Criteria : ii and iv
Surface: 0.4 ha
Buffer zone: 1.5 ha
Reference No .: 695rev
UNESCO region : Europe and North America
History of enrollment
Enrollment: 1995  (session 19)
Detail of the sarcophagus of Margaret I, Queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (1353–1412)
View of the altar

The Roskilde Cathedral (Danish: Roskilde Domkirke ) is the most important church of Denmark and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark . 1000 years of Danish history are revealed under ornate vaults and in dark crypts. With its multitude of unique royal chapels, it reflects the changing European architectural history over 800 years: Romanesque and Gothic are represented as well as Renaissance, Baroque, neoclassicism, eclecticism and functionalism. The cathedral is the first Gothic cathedral in Scandinavia made of brick . The building in Roskilde on the Danish island of Zealand thus contributed significantly to the spread of brick Gothic. The church, completed in 1280, is the traditional burial place of the Danish kings and recently a tourist magnet. In 1995 UNESCO added the cathedral to its World Heritage List .

Building history

According to Saxo Grammaticus , Harald Blauzahn built the first church in 985 on the hill of Roskilde above the bay and was buried there. However, no remains of this church have been found. Around 1080 a new church was consecrated, built by Bishop Svend Normand. It is not known whether it is Estrid's church, which was started under Vilhelm and completed under Bishop Norman, whether there are two church buildings. According to Roskildechronik, it was a three-aisled basilica with a strong western tower section and adorned with a crown, marble columns and all sorts of decorations. On the north side was a three-wing building in which the priests lived. Everything was made of travertine .

Today's brick church began in the 13th century and construction took over 100 years. The magnificent red building consists of around 2.5 million bricks and is considered to be the oldest brick Gothic cathedral in all of Scandinavia. It is an example of the earliest Gothic reception in the early days of northern European brick construction. The four-storey design of the choir elevation with a light gallery and a blind triforium, which was adopted from the early Gothic cathedrals of the French crown land, is noteworthy. The construction of the brick church was finished around 1280 with the Gothic choir. In the centuries that followed, several chapels were added inside and outside the church. Originally dedicated to various saints, they were later replaced by burial chapels and mausoleums of kings in the style of the time. In 1690 Christian V had a tomb erected for himself and his son and their wives in the choir previously reserved for the clergy .

Architecturally, the cathedral is a vaulted three-aisled gallery basilica with a choir (without chapels), transept and double tower facade. Numerous outbuildings are attached to the main structure, most of which serve as burial chapels . These are on the north side from west to east: The Glücksburg Chapel, the St. Brigitten Chapel, the St. Andreas Chapel, the Chapel of Christian IV and Oluf Mortensen's vestibule; on the south side from west to east the Dreikönigskapelle (above the knight's hall with the cathedral museum), the chapel Frederiks V and the chapter house . Frederik IX's grave (1985) is located in a free-standing building in front of the church.


The main altar is an Antwerp reredos from 1560. As a post-Reformation work of art, it shows scenes from Jesus' childhood and the Passion with the crucifixion in the center in detailed carving .

40 Danish kings and queens are buried here. In the church are the graves of 21 Danish kings and 17 queens, including Harald Blauzahn , Margarethe I , Christian IV and Friedrich IX. Margaret's body, like her father and son, was originally buried in the monastery church of Sorø , but was transferred to Roskilde in 1413. Her grave was destroyed in the Danish-Swedish War . The first grave chapel with three altars, at which priests were supposed to pray for the salvation of his soul, was built for himself and his descendants by the first Oldenburg king, Christian I , but they only used the Roskilder Cathedral as a burial place after the Reformation. In contrast to their ancestors, in whose chapel there is no memorial to himself, Christian III. and Friedrich II. huge, magnificent mausoleums in the style of the Renaissance .

Since the cathedral was not only used as a burial place for kings, the floor is covered with hundreds of tombstones. There are also graves in the crypt .

A curiosity is the so-called royal column , on which the height of various European rulers is drawn, starting with Christian I with 2.19 m, who even exceeded the 2.08 m of Tsar Peter the Great by a considerable amount.


Historical organ

The organ in Roskilde Cathedral is one of the most important in Denmark. It includes old registers in a richly decorated case that date back to the Renaissance . In 1554, the Dutch organ builder Hermann Raphael Rodensteen created a new organ with a Rückpositiv , whose case and three to four flute stops have been preserved. The lower case comes from the previous organ from the 15th century. The Frisian carvers and joiners Per Jensoen from Leeuwarden and Jan van Boelswart from Bolsward and Gregorius von Lübeck designed the prospectus and the gallery balustrade. Nikolaus Maaß restored the instrument in 1611. Three registers from him have probably survived. In the 1650s, a major extension was made into a three-manual instrument, which was tantamount to a new building including older parts. It may be that Johan Lorentz involved, whose work was continued by his master and journeyman Gregor Mülisch († 1654) completed by Peter Karstensen Botz 1654/55. The registers of the pedal and main movement found their place in a common housing, which Caspar Lubekke designed in the Baroque style. There was also a separate breastwork in the form of a canopy organ above the console .

In 1833 the organ was radically rebuilt by Jürgen Marcussen and Andreas PW Reuter, the breastwork removed, a swellable upperwork, new action mechanisms and a new wind system installed, the pitch changed and the pedals placed behind the main movement. In 1877 the organ was romanticized by the Busch company. In 1926/27 the Frobenius company carried out a conversion based on Albert Schweitzer's principles with pneumatic action. 1952 to 1957 the same company rebuilt the organ again. All these renovations were reversed as part of a comprehensive restoration in 1991 by Marcussen & Søn under the direction of the organ expert Cornelius H. Edskes and the condition of 1655 was largely restored. The pedal was reunited with the main work behind a common prospectus, the console and the wind turbine were reconstructed with four wedge bellows and the chest work was attached in its original form. Lost registers were carefully reconstructed in terms of the scale and construction using remnants or old models, the wind chests were made with the range of 1654, but two registers each were added in the main movement and in the breastwork compared to the condition in 1654. In the Rückpositiv, the tones F sharp and G sharp on the pulpits from 1833 were retained as split upper keys. This valuable instrument, which has been used for numerous CD recordings, has had 33 stops since 1991.

I Rückpositiv CDE – g 3
1. Gedact 8th' R.
2. Principal 4 ′ B.
3. Gedact 4 ′ R, M
4th Octava 2 ′ B.
5. Salicional 2 ′ B.
6th Sedecima 1' B.
7th Sesquialtera II B.
8th. Mixture III B.
9. Hoboy 8th' B.
II main work CDEFGA – c 3
10. Drone 16 ′ R / M
11. Principal 8th' M.
12. Spitzflöjt 8th' R.
13. Octava 4 ′ M, (B)
14th Rohrflöjt 4 ′ M.
15th Nassath 2 23 M.
16. Great Octava 2 ′ M, (B)
17th Mixture IV-V 1 13 M, (B)
18th Trumpet 8th' M.
III breast positive CDEFGA – c 3
19th Gedact 8th' M.
20th Gedactflöjt 4 ′ M.
21st Octava 2 ′ M, (B)
22nd Waltflöjt 2 ′ M.
23. Sedecima 1' M, (B)
24. shelf 8th' B.
25th Violin shelf 4 ′ M, (B)
CDE – d pedal 1
26th Principal 16 ′ B.
27. Octava 8th' M, (B)
28. Gedact 8th' M, (B)
29 Octava 4 ′ M.
30th Mixture IV 2 ′ M.
31. Trumpet 16 ′ M.
32. Trumpet 8th' M.
33. shawm 4 ′ M.
R = Rottenstein-Pock, 1554
B = Lorentz / Mülisch / Botz, 1654/55
(B) = little proportion of pipe material from Lorentz / Mülisch / Botz, 1654/55
M = Marcussen, 1991

Royal tombs

The following members of the Danish royal family are buried in the cathedral:

  1. Harald I. Blue Tooth , King of Denmark and Norway (910–985 / 986)
  2. Sven I. Gabelbart, King of Denmark (985 / 986-1014)
  3. Sven II. Estridsson, King of Denmark (1020-1074)
  4. Prince Christoph († 1363) - (Junker Christoffer, son of Waldemar IV. Atterdag )
  5. Margaret I, ruler of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (1353–1412)
  6. Christopher III, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (1416–1448)
  7. Christian I, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (1426–1481)
  8. Dorothea of ​​Brandenburg , Queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (1430–1495) - (wife of King Christoph III. And King Christian I )
  9. Christian III, King of Denmark and Norway (1503–1559)
  10. Magnus , King of Livonia (1540–1583) - (Son of King Christian III )
  11. Frederick II, King of Denmark and Norway (1534–1588)
  12. Prince Frederik (August 15, 1599 - September 9, 1599) - (son of King Christian IV. )
  13. Anna Katharina von Brandenburg , Queen of Denmark and Norway (1575–1612) - (wife of King Christian IV. )
  14. Prince Ulrik (December 30, 1578 - March 27, 1624) - (son of King Friedrich II. )
  15. Sophie von Mecklenburg , Queen of Denmark and Norway (1557–1631) - (wife of King Friedrich II. )
  16. Prince Ulrik (February 2, 1611 - August 11, 1633) - (son of King Christian IV. )
  17. Prince Christian (1603–1647) - (son of King Christian IV )
  18. Christian IV, King of Denmark and Norway (1577–1648)
  19. Princess Magdalena Sibylle of Saxony (23 December 1617 - 6 January 1668) - (wife of Prince Christian)
  20. Frederick III, King of Denmark and Norway (1609–1670)
  21. Sophie Amalie von Braunschweig-Lüneburg , Queen of Denmark and Norway (1628–1685) - (wife of King Friedrich III. )
  22. Prince Christian (25 March 1675 - 27 June 1695) - (son of King Christian V )
  23. Christian V, King of Denmark and Norway (1646–1699)
  24. Prince Vilhelm (February 21, 1687 - November 23, 1705) - (son of King Christian V )
  25. Charlotte Amalie von Hessen-Kassel , Queen of Denmark and Norway (1650–1714) - (wife of King Christian V )
  26. Louise of Mecklenburg , Queen of Denmark and Norway (1667–1721) - (first wife of King Friedrich IV. )
  27. Prince Carl of Denmark (1680–1729), fourth son of King Christian V and Charlotte Amalie, younger brother of King Frederik IV.
  28. Frederick IV, King of Denmark and Norway (1671–1730)
  29. Anna Sophie von Reventlow , Queen of Denmark and Norway (1693–1743) - (second wife of King Frederick IV , she is not at his side in the choir, but with three of her children in the northern tower chapel)
  30. Christian VI, King of Denmark and Norway (1699–1746)
  31. Louise of Great Britain , Queen of Denmark and Norway (1724–1751) - (first wife of King Frederick V )
  32. Frederick V, King of Denmark and Norway (1723–1766)
  33. Sophie Magdalene von Brandenburg-Kulmbach , Queen of Denmark and Norway (1700–1770) - (wife of King Christian VI. )
  34. Princess Charlotte Amalie (6 October 1706 - 28 October 1782) - (daughter of King Friedrich IV. )
  35. Sophie Friederike von Mecklenburg (1758–1794) - (wife of Prince Frederik)
  36. Juliane von Braunschweig , Queen of Denmark and Norway (1729–1796) - (second wife of King Friedrich V )
  37. Prince Frederik (1753–1805) - (son of King Friedrich V )
  38. Christian VII, King of Denmark and Norway (1749–1808)
  39. Princess Charlotte (October 30, 1789 - March 28, 1824) - (sister of King Christian VIII. )
  40. Frederick VI, King of Denmark and Norway (1768–1839)
  41. Christian VIII, King of Denmark and Norway (1786–1848)
  42. Princess Juliane (February 18, 1788 - May 9, 1850) - (sister of King Christian VIII. )
  43. Maria von Hessen-Kassel , Queen of Denmark and Norway (1767-1852) - (wife of King Friedrich VI. )
  44. Prince Ferdinand of Denmark (22 November 1792 - 29 June 1863) - (brother of King Christian VIII. )
  45. Frederick VII, King of Denmark (1808–1863)
  46. Caroline Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein , Queen of Denmark and Norway (1796–1881) - (second wife of King Christian VIII. )
  47. Princess Caroline (October 28, 1793 - March 31, 1881) - (daughter of King Friedrich VI. )
  48. Prince Vilhelm (April 10, 1816 - September 5, 1893) - (brother of King Christian IX. )
  49. Louise of Hesse , Queen of Denmark (1817–1898) - (wife of King Christian IX. )
  50. Christian IX , King of Denmark (1818–1906)
  51. Marie von Orléans (born January 13, 1865 - † December 4, 1909) - (wife of Prince Valdemar )
  52. Prince Hans (December 5, 1825 - May 27, 1911) - (brother of King Christian IX. )
  53. Frederick VIII, King of Denmark (1843–1912)
  54. Louise of Sweden-Norway , Queen of Denmark (1851–1926) - (wife of King Friedrich VIII. )
  55. Prince Valdemar (1858–1939) - (son of King Christian IX )
  56. Christian X. , King of Denmark (1870–1947)
  57. Prince Erik (1890–1950) - (son of Prince Valdemar )
  58. Alexandrine von Mecklenburg-Schwerin , Queen of Denmark (1879–1952) - (wife of King Christian X. )
  59. Princess Eleonore (* 1895; † 1966) - (wife of Prince Viggo)
  60. Prince Viggo (December 25, 1893 - January 4, 1970) - (son of Prince Valdemar )
  61. Frederick IX, King of Denmark (1899–1972)
  62. Margrethe , Duchess of Parma (September 17, 1895 - September 18, 1992) - (daughter of Prince Valdemar )
  63. Prince Christian (* 1932; † 1997)
  64. Ingrid of Sweden , Queen of Denmark (1910-2000) - (wife of King Friedrich IX. )

Dagmar of Denmark (1847–1928), who as Maria Fjodorovna was wife of Tsar Alexander III. and was the mother of the last Tsar Nicholas II , was also buried in Roskilde Cathedral until her remains were transferred to the family crypt of the Tsar family in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in Saint Petersburg in 2006 .

In April 2018, the tomb designed by the sculptor Bjørn Nørgaard for the 78-year-old Queen Margrethe II was completed.

See also


  • Lorenzen Vilhlem: Roskilde domkirke . Flensborgs Boghandel Roskilde, 1924.
  • Roskilde Cathedral . Flensborgs Roskilde, 1958.
  • Erik Kjersgaard: Roskilde Domkirke (German edition). Roskilde Domsogns Menighedsråd, Roskilde around 1975.
  • Ulla Kjær: Roskilde Domkirke, art and history . National Museum København, 2013. ISBN 978-87-02-14388-1

Web links

Commons : Roskilde Cathedral  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gesta Danorum 10th book chap. 8.4.
  2. ^ Maarten Albert Vente : The Brabant Organ. On the history of organ art in Belgium and Holland in the Gothic and Renaissance ages . HJ Paris, Amsterdam 1963, p. 109 .
  3. Photos of the organ by Hilbrand Edskes & Elly Kooiman , seen December 2, 2013.
  4. Harald Vogel : Text supplement to the CD Dietrich Buxtehude: Orgelwerke. Vol. 6 . MD + GL 3426. 1993, pp. 2-4.
  5. ^ Organ in Roskilde , seen December 2, 2013.
  6. Roskilde: Tomb for Denmark's Queen Margrethe is ready , on, accessed on February 24, 2020

Coordinates: 55 ° 38 ′ 33.6 "  N , 12 ° 4 ′ 49.1"  E