Roskilde

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Roskilde (Danish pronunciation: [ˈʁʌskilə]) is the main city in Roskilde Municipality, Denmark on the island of Zealand. It is an ancient city, dating from the Viking Age.

Roskilde train station is a major stop between Copenhagen and the regions of Denmark located to its west. With a population of 46,701 (1 January 2010),[1] the city is an economic center for the region.

Roskilde has a pedestrian street running down the center of the city, with many shops, restaurants, and cafes. Several tourist attractions draw visitors from around Denmark and the world. The local university has an education program that invites international students to attend for a year.

Contents

History

According to Adam of Bremen and Saxo Grammaticus, in the 980s, Harald I of Denmark built a church and a royal estate in Roskilde. Saxo Grammaticus associates the name Roskilde with the legendary King Roar who possibly lived there in the 6th century. Harald was buried at the church which is on the same site as today's Roskilde Cathedral.

In 1020, Roskilde became a bishopric, making it the church's most important town in Denmark. Absalon, the Danish bishop, had a brick church built there in 1170 which later became the cathedral. In the following years, under Absalon's influence, many other churches were built in the town.

Roskilde was given the status of a market town in 1268. It was probably the largest and most important town in Denmark at the time. With the support of the Roman Catholic Church, it continued to thrive until 1443. But as a result of the Reformation and the closure of the Roman Catholic Church in Denmark it lost its earlier status. Roskilde Cathedral did, however, continue to be the place where the kings and queens of Denmark were buried.

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