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Muhler 06-23-2013 06:43 AM

Roskilde Cathedral, Burial Site of Danish Monarchs
Roskilde Cathedral is where Danish royals have been buried since 1559. - And in a number of cases before then as well.

As such it must be considered a final and permanent residence, hence this thread.

Before then royals were buried all over the place. There is however a Danish peculiarity, which I don't know whether is has been used by other countries.
Danish kings who were killed in battle, were always buried locally and not in the designated cathredral that was otherwise planned for them. Why I don't know. - Perhaps that was a remnant of ancient superstition? Denmark after all only was truly Christian during the 1200's, incidentally marked by a massive church-building programme. A a thumbrule, the many white-chalked churces seen dotted all over the countryside and in small towns in DK are mostly from the 1200's. - (A little info to show off with, should you ever visit DK ;)).

A Wikipedia article about the cathedral, in English: Roskilde Cathedral - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here are some pics of Roskilde cathedral:

A Google overview of Roskilde Cathedral, or Roskilde Domkirke as it is called in Danish:
As you can tell, it's located in the middle of the medieval town of Roskilde.

As you know archeologist are excavating the ground underneath the place where the tomb of QMII and PH will be placed. Here they expect to find graves and remains of a monastery that was located here before the current cathedral was build.

BT has an article about the archeologists at work. They have six weeks to complete their task, but should something interesting turn up, they are prepared to sacrifice their summer holiday. Makaber forberedelse: Her gør de dronning Margrethes grav klar - Royale |

Here is a gallery of the interior of Roskilde Cathedral and the crypt where the Regent Couple will be laid to rest:
Pic #10 is of particular interest as is shows a model of the sarcophagus to be used by the Regent Couple.

Additional info copy pasted from another thread:

And now for something inevitable albeit less pleasant: Dronningens grav snart klar - TV 2 Nyhederne

The final preparations for the tomb inside Roskilde Cathedral where the Regent Couple will be laid to rest have begun.

The floor has been removed and archeologists have begun digging in the ground to learn what might be there, before the ground is cleared so that the Regent Couple can be buried there.
A David Høyer explains: "Now we have reached the stage where we have make an archeological excavation prior to establishing the future tomb and a crypt.
The chapel was build in the latter half of the 1400's on a part of the yard belonging to the cathedral, which before then was a cemetary, so the archeologists will no doubt find graves. - But we also hope to find the remains of the monastery, which belonged to the original cathedral, which was build around 1080.


For the past several hundred years Danish monarchs have been buried inside Roskilde Cathedral. However Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid was buried outside, but QMII has for whatever reason opted not to be buried with her parents.

polyesco 06-23-2013 07:55 PM

thank you Muhler for all the information and links:flowers:

It really is a beautiful building

Blog Real 02-15-2017 11:07 AM

Roskilde Cathedral
Roskilde Cathedral (Danish: Roskilde Domkirke), in the city of Roskilde on the island of Zealand (Sjælland) in eastern Denmark, is a cathedral of the Lutheran Church of Denmark. The first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick, it encouraged the spread of the Brick Gothic style throughout Northern Europe. Constructed during the 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral incorporates both Gothic and Romanesque architectural features in its design. Until the 20th century, it was Zealand's only cathedral. Its twin spires dominate the skyline of the town.

The cathedral has been the main burial site for Danish monarchs since the 15th century. As such, it has been significantly extended and altered over the centuries to accommodate a considerable number of burial chapels. Following the Danish Reformation in 1536, the bishop's residence was moved to Copenhagen while the title was changed to Bishop of Zealand. Coronations normally took place in Copenhagen's Church of Our Lady or in the chapel of Frederiksborg Palace.

The cathedral is a major tourist attraction, bringing in over 125,000 visitors annually. Since 1995, it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A working church, it also hosts concerts throughout the year.

Roskilde Cathedral has been since the 15th century the main mausoleum of the Kings of Denmark, which led to several additions and changes, particularly of funeral chapels.

Muhler 04-09-2018 01:23 PM

The last pieces of QMII's sarcophagus (*) have quietly been delivered from the foundry in the Czech republic to Roskilde Cathedral, where they will be stored until the day they are to be put together in displayed.
In the meantime the monument itself upon where the glass-sarcophagus will be placed is almost finished as well.
Despite the fact that QMII is to be interred alone, there will be no changes to the sarcophagus.

(*) Why can't you English speakers simple spell it sarkofag? Sarcophagus is impossible to remember. :ohmy:

iceflower 04-23-2018 05:34 AM


Queen Margrethe's future tomb was placed at Sankt Birgittas Chapel at Roskilde Domkirke:

** video **

** H.M. Dronningens gravmæle **

** H.M. Dronningens gravmæle er nu opstillet i Roskilde Domkirke ** translation **

And here's a gallery of various tombs:

** ppe gallery **

Muhler 04-23-2018 05:51 AM

Thanks, Iceflower. :flowers:


It doesn't look out of place, which was something I feared.
I think this is going to be one well-visited cathedral this summer!

LibrarianDaisy 04-23-2018 07:11 AM

It really is beautiful, as is the setting. Truly worthy of this artistic Queen - although I hope it won't be needed for many years to come. I wonder how her Majesty must be feeling at the moment with Prince Henrik's death and all that preceded it. I don't suppose we will ever know and I'm certainly not prepared to speculate other than I feel her faith must be a great comfort for her.

Muhler 04-26-2018 10:09 AM

Summary of article in Billed Bladet #17, 2018.
Written by Dorthe Quist.

The sarcophagus has been 15 years in the making and has been designed and created by sculpture and professor Bjørn Nørgaard.
Being three meters long and weighing seven tons it consists of six pieces.

It was originally meant to be taken down again and stored away until needed, but it has (wisely IMO!) been decided to leave it where it is, and only screen it off until QMII is laid to rest there. It was simply deemed too complicated to dismantle and put together again years into the future.

The glass pieces have been made in the Czech republic, which is the only place with the knowledge in how to create such large glass-pieces.
The silver elephants were made in Italy. The base has been made from French sandstone (IMO no doubt a nod to PH) and the three pillars have been made from Danish granite, Faeroese Basalt and Greenlandic marble.
The bronze allegory placed on top of the sarcophagus depicts crests and symbols from the lives of PH and QMII.
The two figures representing PH and QMII have been sandblasted on the inside of the glass.

Bjørn Nørgaard was selected because QMII has always been enthusiastic about his works, and it was indeed he who deigned the gobelins that are now hanging at Christiansborg.

The sarcophagus is standing in Saint Birgitte's Chapel. (Perhaps FasterB can educate us about her? :smile:)
Since the 1400s Roskilde Cathedral has been the resting place for Danish kings and queens and today 20 kings and 18 queens are buried here.

But before the sarcophagus could be assembled, the ground underneath had to be excavated by archeologists first. Engineers checked the ground and stabilized it, so that it could support the seven ton sarcophagus and a crypt underneath the sarcophagus had to be dug. Here QMII will be laid to rest.

But see for yourselves here: BB #17, 2018

Curryong 04-26-2018 10:39 AM

My goodness, so many craftsmen from various countries involved and such painstaking work, even down to the figures sandblasted inside the glass walls! I have seen pictures of what it was going to look like before and for some reason got it into my head that Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik (this was before the controversy) were going to be placed inside the sarcophagus after death, not underneath. I just think this really typifies the Queen. I don't know any other European monarch who would commission such a unique monument.

Muhler 04-26-2018 02:37 PM

In some other monarchies there would have been a lot of criticism about costs and how it looks, if it's out of place and so on.
There really hasn't been that much here in DK about this.

QMII seems to be able to get away with things other monarchs couldn't.

If we look at it from a cost benefit analysis, I think the costs of this sarcophagus will earn itself in a surprisingly short period in local income for the town of Roskilde. This is something tourists would like to see! - Not to mention at least a million Danes - in my conservative estimate.
And if the DRF and Denmark is still around in a hundred years, people will still come to see it, because it is so unique.
And it's a good story as well! We have a sarcophagus for two people, but there is only one buried there.

An Ard Ri 04-26-2018 03:08 PM

I prefer the tomb and effigy of her predecessor Queen Margrethe I, far more to my tastes ;)

Somebody 04-26-2018 06:40 PM


Originally Posted by Muhler (Post 2098687)
And it's a good story as well! We have a sarcophagus for two people, but there is only one buried there.

The story will surely be remembered. Two people 'pictured' but one didn't want to be buried there because he wasn't king...

MARG 04-26-2018 08:21 PM

That is one of the most beautiful works of art I have ever seen. I am amazed at how something so diametrically different should somehow look so very right. Perhaps it is because those who know and know of Queen Margrethe see it reflects the majesty of her reign and is a fitting memorial for one so inordinately talented, as regal and majestic as befits the lady herself.

Sadly, the next generation will probably admire its amazing beauty, fantastic construction and read the story but never truly understand why it differs so very much from those that went before.

Muhler 04-27-2018 01:54 AM

No, they may not fully understand QMII and her time.
However, there is no doubt in my mind that QMII will be a Queen historians, documentarists and authors will return to.
She is after all the first official female Danish monarch.
Margrethe I, Margrethe Sprænghest and at least one more Margrethe were highly influential indeed, even more so than QMII, but officially they were only regents.

I think it's the relationship between PH and QMII that will fascinate people the most. There will be endless debates into what kind of relationship it was. - Even we today, who witnessed it more or less live, have problems really understanding that relationship! :ermm:

An Ard Ri 04-27-2018 08:42 AM

Wasn't Margaret of Pomerania the 1st queen regent of Denmark ,her burial and impressive tomb are housed at the former Cistercian Abbey -Doberaner Münster in Germany.

tdarlene 04-27-2018 08:51 AM

It might not be everyones taste, but it is so QMII.

betina 04-28-2018 04:59 AM


Originally Posted by An Ard Ri (Post 2098986)
Wasn't Margaret of Pomerania the 1st queen regent of Denmark ,her burial and impressive tomb are housed at the former Cistercian Abbey -Doberaner Münster in Germany.

Yes, until her son was old enough to gain power. The reason Margrete 1. (she is spelled without the “h”) is the first Queen, is that she rulled for her son like Margrethe Sprænghest did, but when he died, she took power herself and founded the Kalmar Union and ruled the countries until she died.

Duc_et_Pair 04-28-2018 05:20 AM

The monument is not my taste. But it is her choice, so be it.

Muhler 04-28-2018 07:09 PM

An interesting article from BT.

The man who created the sarcophagus, Bjørn Nørgaard, has told a bit about hos it came about.
Both QMII and Bjørn Nørgaard hails from the Protestant culture where large grave monuments are uncommon.
So it was very PH who in the first years of the creative and design stage came with suggestions and inputs. PH wanted this to be a statement to the future, that they (he and QMII) were here. A don't forget us, so to speak.
It was only late in the design process that he changed his mind, but by then it was too late to change the design.

This is how it looks today and until QMII needs it. Screened off:

Somebody 04-28-2018 07:40 PM

Interesting that it was mainly PH's idea and that now his wife will be the only one to actually use it. He clearly crafted attention and his change of mind will only lead to more attention in the decades and probably centuries to come.

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