ROSKILDE, or Roeskilde, a town of Denmark in the amt (county) of Kjobenhavn (Copenhagen), 20 m. by rail W. of Copenhagen, on the great lagoon-like inlet named Roskilde Fjord. Pop. (Igor) 8368. It has a small port, and is an important railway junction, from which lines diverge W., S.W. and S. through the island of Zealand. Its interest, however, is historical. It was the capital of the kingdom until 1443, and the residence of the bishops of Zealand until the Reformation. The cathedral, a beautiful church, was consecrated in 1084, but of this early building only foundation walls remain; the present structure of brick was begun in 1215, and enlarged and restored at various later dates. It stands in relation to Danish history somewhat as Westminster Abbey does to English, containing the tombs of most of the Danish kings from Harold I. (987). The most noteworthy architectural details are the Chapel of the Trinity (15th century) and that of Christian IV. (Renaissance, 1617), carved choirstalls, and an altar-piece of the 16th century. Other old buildings are a church of Our Lady, dating as it stands from 1242, a diocesan library (partly of the ,5th century), royal palace (1733) and institute for daughters of noblemen (1670).
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