It seems like every small town around Denmark has a little local museum – and Roskilde has one too. And it is actually a pretty decent for a local museum so it if you are in town and have the time after visiting the bigger attractions it is worth going here.
The museum is fortunate by the fact Roskilde is one of the oldest cities in Denmark so the city got a long and fairly interesting history and the museum got some interesting stuff and a lot which is a bit less interesting.
There is a mix of different items dating back to an old mammoth tooth which is around 25,000 years old and a fairly impressive skeleton of a pre-historic ox which became extinct due to hunting about 5,000 years ago.
Other items on display are an old race car which used to race on the nearby Roskilde Ring motorway. And there is a reconstruction of an old class room from a school a century or so ago.
Surprisingly there isn’t a lot of information about the main current attraction of the city – the annual Roskilde Music festival which attracts about 100,000 visitors from Denmark and around the world in late June early July every year.
On the top floor they actually show a very old movie from 1908 – the old movie is the first which has been recorded just outside Roskilde and it is about a hunt for a lion in the jungle. A jungle in the early part of the 20th century had just to be this small island in Roskilde Fjord.
I learned something new at the museum. In Denmark you call it Roskilde syge (sickness) if you got a really bad stomach. But I never knew why this city had given the name to a bad stomach – but fortunately this museum did actually tell the story of the sickness. Roskilde used to have a lot of tanners – and back in the 1920s the wastewater from the tanneries unfortunately made it into the drinking water supply. The polluted drinking water caused a serious spread of stomach problems and the news media spread the story – connecting the city with stomach issues even a hundred years later.
The museum is easy to find close to the cathedral and a short walk to the train station. So if you are visiting Roskilde you might have a look inside. Especially if you go on a Wednesday since the museums of Roskilde stay open late giving you more time to visit the different museums on a daytrip from Copenhagen. If you decide to go to more museums around Roskilde a Copenhagen Card might be good value since the admission and train ticket to Roskilde adds up.