ity map anno 1400
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Translation of the symbols used:
- Byvold = Town rampart
- Vej = Road
- Vandløb = Stream
- Gærde/mur = Fence/wall
- Vandmølle = Water mill
- Kilde = Spring
escription of the individual items on the map
The town rampart (1)
The town rampart were built in the late 1140erne by Svend Grathe, who as king of Zealand and Skåne needed to ensure its most important city in the power struggles that took place between him and the two other royal subjects Knud and Valdemar. The town ramparts, which was 3.2 km long, fringed country’s largest urban land of 73 hectares. Both the city wall and moat was about 10 m wide and 2-3 m high respectively deep. Because of the sloping terrain the moat was only partially filled with water. On the relatively low city wall was erected a palisade. The town rampart fell into disrepair in the late Middle Ages, but in 1400 it still had a function by separating the city from the countryside. In the countryside they lived off agriculture, and in the city they had a monopoly on trade and partly craft. It was therefore important to have a clear dividing line. In the 1800s, you could still see the town wall in some places, but today it is only through excavations, one can find traces. North of the ruins of Sct. Hans church one can see a very small piece of city wall.
Red city gate (2)
Red city gate marked the main exit road from the city. It was the road to the most valuable possession of the Bishop of Roskilde, Copenhagen. The name is already known from the medieval period, but a trace of the gate has never been found. The Town rampart’s course is so well known, however, that there is no doubt that it has been at Hestetorvet’s (the horse square) eastern end.
Domkirken / The cathedral (3)
The present brick cathedral had two or three predecessors. Harald Bluetooth built the wooden church around 980, where he was later buried, and Bishop Svend Nordmand built a travertine church around 1080. What happened in the intervening period is unclear, but King Canute’s sister Estrid was somehow part in the construction of a stone church in Roskilde . Maybe she let a church build around 1040, which then were allowed to stand in a few years, or perhaps her great gift (a large amount of farms in northern Skåne) assisted Svend Nordmand’s church building. It is also possible that it was the first church on the mountain at the harbor, she had built. It was probably Absalon, who took the initiative to build the current cathedral, and construction can then be started around 1170. It is primarily Absalon’s cousin and successor as bishop, Peder Sunesen, who was responsible for the construction. It went slowly at first, and until the late 1200s the church was almost finished. The north tower was lacking for another hundred years, and only immediately after 1400 it was finished. In addition to the chapter house to the southeast, only three side chapels were built in 1400. Vor Frue chapel to the south from 1310 (closed in 1772), and to the north of Sct. Laurentius chapel from 1384 (closed in 1613) and Sct. Andreas chapel from 1395, which still exists.
Sct. Budolfi kirke / Sct. Budolfi church (4)
The ruins have been excavated several times, latest in 1999. The church is built of travertine in the first half of the 1100s and replaced a wooden church. In many ways it resembled St. Laurentii church at the opposite end of Skomagergade. They had both profiled slots and pilaster strips (flat half columns) in the apse. Parts of the church burned in 1523, and because of the Reformation it was hardly renovated again.
Sct. Nikolai kirke / Sct. Nikolai church (5)
Remains of this church has never been found, so the exact location is not known. In the early 1900s some skeletons were found north of Jernbanegade at Kornerups Vænge, thought to date from a time of plague, where a disused cemetery (Skt. Nikolai?) have been recycled.
Sct. Dionysii kirke (6)
Alle Helgens kirke / All Saints church (7)
Alle Helgens kirke was found in 1944 – well, actually two churches were found. The oldest was a round church built of travertine probably about 1110-20. Around 1200 the round church was replaced by a church with a more normal appearance, which was closed after the Reformation. It is not known when it was demolished.
Sct. Mikkels kirke / Sct. Mikkels church (8)
Sct. Mikkel’s church from the early 1100s has been excavated, but only the foundation is found, all the masonry was demolished in 1575 and re-used for repairs to the cathedral. Ahead lay a wooden church on the site.
Sct. Pauls kirke / Sct. Paul’s church (9)
Sct. Paul’s church has never been found, but have probably been at Algade up to Hestetorvet. There has also been a St. Peter’s church, which probably have been outside the town ramparts to the east. There were also no remains of this church, and it can not be excluded that St. Peter and St. Paul’s churches is the same. It was not unusual that the church was dedicated to both Peter and Paul, the most important apostles.
Sct. Laurentii kirke / Sct. Laurentii chuch, or Sct. Lawrence church (10)
Sct. Laurentii church is built in the early 1100s and is as ornate as Skt. Budolfi church with profiled bases and pilaster strips on the apse. Moreover, this church had the most beautiful tiled floors, known from Denmark’s medieval period. The floor ripped marble floors in Italian churches with black and white burnt clay tiles. Brick Burning is only known in Denmark from 1150, so the tiles must be imported or manufactured by a called brick burner. Church under Stændertorvet was excavated in 1931, and in the next 50 years you could visit the ruins via a staircase from the main square. When moisture threatened to destroy the church it was closed for access, until the area was refurbished and re-excavated in 1998. Only by this excavation it was discovered, that the church originally had a two-tier tower, that was replaced about 1500 by the tower, which since 1735 has served as Town Hall Tower. As a foretaste of the Reformation, the church – apart from the tower – was gutted and torn down by angry citizens in 1531.
Sct. Olai kirke / Sct. Olai church (11)
Sct. Olai church was excavated in 1934. It was a travertine church from around 1120 with an initial tower, which has probably been bifurcated. The church was closed during the Reformation, and Duebrødre hospital was in the late 1500s allowed to retrieve materials from the church ruins.
Sct. Hans kirke / Sct. Hans church (12)
Sct. Hans church was excavated in 1941, and its floor plan was marked by small embankments, so you can still see its location in Provstevænget. It was probably built of travertine in the early 1100s. The church survived the Reformation. It is mentioned in 1569 but disappears over the next hundred years.
Sct. Mortens kirke / Sct. Martin’s church (13).
Sct. Ibs kirke / Sct. Ibs church (14)
Sct. Ibs church, built of travertine about 1100, superseding two earlier wooden churches. The church was located in the Vindeboder area, where foreign (vandal) merchants in the 1000s already stayed when they did trade in the city. It was in use until about 1800 and then used as a warehouse and in 1808 as a hospital for the Spanish soldiers who were accommodated in the city. In 1815 the merchant Jacob Borch bought the church, and he tore everything down except the nave and replacing the arches with flat roof. The church was used as a warehouse until 1884, when reclaimed by the parish. It was renovated in 1922.
Sct. Jørgensbjerg kirke / Sct. Jørgensbjerg church (15)
The current travertine church was built around 1080 and is together with Our Lady’s Church one of the oldest in Denmark. But before there was another church, half the size, also built of travertine about 1035. It may be this church and not a predecessor to the cathedral, which Estrid – Canute’s sister and Svend Estridsen mother – built in Roskilde. Ashlar blocks from here was used in the new church, and the now bricked-up north portal dating from the first church, and are hereby oldest piece of stone building in Denmark. Originally the church was consecrated to Sct. Clemens, the seafarers’ patron saint, but when Sct. Jørgen hospital was built next to the church, the church – and the village – took name after the lepers’ patron saint.
Vor Frue kirke / Church of Our Lady (16)
Church of Our Lady was built as a three-aisled church in travertine by Bishop Svend Normand about 1080 and is together with St. Jørgensbjerg church one of the oldest in the country. Before, there most certainly had been a wooden church on the site. It became part of the north side of the convent, which was built almost a hundred years later and continued to be a parish church in contrast to other monastic churches. The church was extended twice for a total of 29 m, but after the Reformation (in 1599) the eastern half was demolished to the length, the church has today. It has been rebuilt several times since the medieval times, but the nave and the northern part is original.
Vor Frue nonnekloster / Our Lady convent (16)
When Bishop Wilhelm died, three priests did desecration of the graveyard of Bishop Asser to make room for Vilhelm in Assers grave. Shortly after two priests died, and the third, dean Isaac tried to avert God’s punishment by in 1158 to found a Benedictine monastery in connection with the Church of Our Lady. The monastery’s future was further secured when the body of Absalon’s relative, the holy Margaret of Højelse (near Køge) was transferred to Our Lady’s Church. Margrethe had been killed by her husband, who camouflaged murder as suicide. She was therefore buried in unconsecrated ground, but strange signs appeared at the tomb, and fraud was revealed. Margrethe got helgenry, and in 1177 the body was transferred to Roskilde and buried by Absalon, who also gave large gifts to the monastery, which was transferred to the Cistercian order. Pilgrims flocked to the tomb and offered donations, that along with bequests to the monastery made it rich. Yet in 1850 a large number of people visited Margrethe tomb of sufferers in the hope of healing. The monastery survived for a time after the Reformation, but around 1565 there were no more nuns back. It is not known when the monastery was demolished.
Gråbrødre monastery (17)
Gråbrødre monastery was founded by the Franciscans in 1237, and since Countess Ingerd of Regenstein from Hvide family gave the monks a farm in the city, the monastery could find space within the town ramparts. The monastery was closed at the Reformation, and the buildings and land were transferred to a nobleman from Funen. The monastery’s church and the cemetery was retained as a parish church for the city’s six Eastern parishes. In 1625, the majority of the church was destroyed, and only a funeral chapel was in use for another hundred years. It fell into disrepair then, and in 1832 the last ruins disappeared, and a cross was put on the spot. In 1855 a new funeral chapel was built and the cemetery has been in use for more than 750 years.
Sortebrødre monastery (18)
Sortebrødre monastery was built shortly after the Dominicans came to Roskilde in 1231. After the Reformation, the throne took over the monastery, and in 1557 they received the bailiff’s order to demolish the buildings. Then the main building was rebuilt to a small manor house – Sortebrødregård. This building still exists and is the old main building of the noble monastery, which now has the name Roskilde Monastery. In 1699 two noblewomen, Margrethe Ulfeld and Berte Skeel, owned the property, and they created their maiden convent for daughters of Danish nobility and men of the highest officials. This “Protestant” monastery to take over one of the features that the Catholic convents had – haven and financial support measures for noble ladies who were not married.
Sct. Agnes convent (19)
Sct. Agnes convent belonging to Dominican Friars, was founded in 1263 by Erik Plovpennings 14 year old daughter Agnes, whose legacy was used for the purpose. A few years after her older sister Jutta donated her legacy to the monastery, and took the oath. After 5-6 years it appeared that Jutta did not want monastery, and both girls ran away and took their legacy back. This meant almost ruin of the monastery, and got the girls excommunicated. The princesses took to their sister, who was married to the Swedish king, and he took so lovingly against them that Jutta was pregnant. Big scandal and reinforced ban – but proved to be ineffective. The monastery recovered the bulk of the lost funds later at the King’s help, and owned large amounts of possession at the Reformation, then claimed by the crown. Most of the monastery was demolished in 1580erne, and the final part – a small thatched house – burned down in 1825. Debris and skeletons has often been found in the area.
Sct. Clara convent (20)
Sct. Clara convent was founded by the Franciscans in 1256 on the basis of large gifts from Countess Ingerd of Regenstein. The monastery was big – 40 nuns – and popular and received many gifts. When the monastery during the Reformation was closed, it was very rich, and the University of Copenhagen received most of the estate. The 600 acres large Flengmark field just west of Roskilde was shared between the university, Duebrødre hospital, the Cathedral School and the Cathedral. Until a few years ago this field stopped Roskildes growth to the west. The monastery was demolished in 1579 and the stones reused in the construction of the manor Selsø in Hornsherred. The last foundation remains were broken up in 1843, and later only debris in the soil are found.
Duebrødre hospital (21)
Duebrødre hospital existed in 1429 – but is probably from the 1300s – and then located west of the city. In 1918 the hospital church foundation and a basement was found, among other. As Helligåndshuset and Sct. Jørgensgården was closed in 1569, their funds was transferred to Duebrødre hospital, which was to provide maintenance for a teacher and 23 disciples at the Cathedral School. Around 1640, the hospital was moved to the city on the cathedral square. In 1969, respectively 1973, Søren Olsen’s hospital (1592) and Meyercrones Foundation (from 1739) and transferred to Duebrødre Foundation, which today has about 100 homes in several buildings in the city.
Helligåndshuset / Holy Spirit house (22)
The first Helligåndshus from the first half of the 1200s was located slightly west of the city – the place is not known. In 1253, the hospital was moved to the city near the cathedral. It was Bishop Jacob Erlandsen, who donated the funds that made the move possible. Helligåndshuset had to house 12 sick and poor and also provide food and accommodation to 12 students from the Cathedral School. Ailing travelers could find food and lodging for one night. The Foundation also had to pay for two years of study abroad when two disciples were suitable. It was closed in 1569, and the funds transferred to Duebrødre hospital.
Sct. Jørgensgården (23)
The only cure they had in the medieval times against the incurable leprosy, was isolation. Therefore, established hospitals a little outside the cities, where those infected could – and later should – reside. Roskilde hospital for lepers was north of Sct. Clemens church on the “mountain” at the harbor. The leper’s patron saint Sct. Jørgen did eventually name for both the church and the city port. The hospital existed before 1211 and perhaps already in 1130, where Bishop Peder gave money and land for the creation of a monastic community at Sct. Clemens church. There was no convent of the gift, but it might instead have been used for the hospital. Sct. Jørgensgården was closed at the same time as Helligåndshuset in 1569, and all of its funds delegated Duebrødre hospital. Leprosy at that time was fairly extinct in Denmark.
Kongsgården / Royal palace (24)
Kongsgården was demolished soon after 1400, and the site was used as the city’s waste space until 1455, when the king gave the land to one of the cathedral altars. It has never been possible to find traces of the palace, so we have no knowledge of how it looked. But the location just west of the cathedral is mentioned both in the deed of gift from 1455 as in Saxo’s report on blood feast in Roskilde in 1157.
Bispegården / Bishops palace (25)
Bispegården is probably built in the first half of the 1100s. The main building was on the west closest to the cathedral, but there were also a number of buildings in the area to accommodate the large staff of employees, the bishop had. The so-called Absalonsbue connected the main building of the cathedral. It is built of travertine around 1200 of Absalon’s successor Peder Sunesen and still exists. After the Reformation, when the bishop of Sealand was moved to Copenhagen, the bishop’s house was home to vassal of Roskilde County (the old possessions around town with Bistruphave (now Skt. Hans) as the largest possessions but with entire villages like. Himmelev below itself. the buildings went slowly into disrepair, and in 1733 the bishop’s palace was demolished and replaced by Det gule palæ.
Rådhuset / City hall (26)
City Hall is mentioned in Roskildes municipal laws from 1268, but it was at the moment probably only an institution – not a building – that was referred to. The medieval town hall, which burned in 1731, was probably from the 1300s. Its appearance is known largely from an image in Resens atlas from 1677. It shows that the two-storey building had a gallery which was carried by three pillars, so you could go under the gallery.
Katedralskolen / Cathedral School (27)
Katedralskolen existed at least in 1150 and was originally housed in the monastery, which was located north of and in connection with the former cathedral. When the monastery was demolished around 1200, the school was given its own building, which was part of the wall surrounding the cathedral. In 1845 this building was demolished, but the corner of Cathedral Square, where it lay still called Skolegade (School Street). They built a new cathedral school facing the cathedral square to the south (today Roskilde Gymnasium: Katedralskolen is moved outside the city center to Holbækvej).
The gallows (28)
The gallows was in 1700 located south of the city, located high and close to the major southbound road. It’s probably likely that it was the same place in the Middle Ages, but it is not known. When Roskilde’s executioner Ingermann died in 1804, his widow took over the company. She would not even engage in the occupation but in each case pay the Copenhagen executioner to step in. After the widow’s death in 1812 no more executioners were hired in Roskilde. Gallows here was the town’s gallows. The shire Gallows Hill was located on Frederiksborgvej close to Himmelev.
Hestetorvet / Horse square (29)
Hestetorvet is from the medieval times, and the excavations in 1994 indicate that the site already from 1150, when the town wall was built, has been used for trade. It has probably been one of the country’s oldest livestock markets.
Few places have so many and powerful springs as Roskilde. 200 years ago there were at least 24, of which 11 have been fully active until a hundred years ago, where water abstraction gradually lowered the ground water level, and almost all springs dried out. However, in recent years, many have come back to life. In 1832 the water quantity of the springs measured, and the three strongest was Maglekilde with 82,000 l/h, Klosterkilden with 12,000 l/h and Højbrøndskilde with 8,000 l/h. The springs gave the town quality drinking and household water, and valuable hydropower. Most springs arise about 30 m above sea level, and since the drain to the sea is short, it was possible to have a very intensive water mill operation. The springs focused on two drains: A Western with Maglekilde as the main spring and an Eastern with Klosterkilden as the main.
Hellig Kors kilde / Hellig Kors (aka. Holy Cross) spring (30)
The spring was one of the most known in the city, and thought to have healing effect. When the king of Denmark, Frederik 4th in 1729 became ill, and the doctors could not cure him, they tried to fetch water from the Hellig kors spring to see if it could help the king. The king was brisk, and the court then fetched water several times a week from the spring. This water transport continued for about 100 years, and a man was hired to supervise the spring. The evening of Skt. Hans, the youth gathered even in the mid-1800s at the Hellig Kors spring where there was music and dancing, and they drank more beer and spirits than spring water. In 1880 Roskilde got its first waterworks, which was located near the Hellig Kors spring. A few years later the spring dried out, and in 1906 a monument in travertine designed by Jacob Kornerup was built. It still exists in Helligkorsvej.
Blegdamskilde was for centuries one of the city’s cherished wash places. After washing and rinsing the clothes were spread out on the grass in order to dry and to be bleached by the sun. The waterworks, which in 1880 was brought by the Hellig Kors spring also took power from Blegdamskilde, and around 1910-20 it dried out completely. Today there is no trace of the spring.
Højbrønd kilde / Højbrønd spring (32)
One of the city’s richest springs, which until World War 1 was used for washing. But already in 1886 a water pipeline had been laid from the source to the six years older waterworks at Holy Cross source, and thereby it lost the majority of its water. In 1943 the well was completely demolished in favor of a turning area.
Maglekilde has always been the richest of water in Roskilde, and although it has diminished, it still delivers 15,000 l/hour. The large amounts of water containing much dissolved lime deposited around the flow of the water. Spring lime (also known as travertine) is soft and easy to work as long as it is’nt oxygenated by the air. The deposits were several meters thick and an ideal building material before they had bricks. In 1000 and 1100 many churches in Roskilde and surroundings were built of travertine. Since the mining of travertine ceased, a large lake was formed, which came to serve as a millpond, until it in 1846 was filled up. A health resort should be built on the site, and in 1849 they constructed a building covered with wood in three wings with park and an octagonal house right above the spring. From the house the water ran in an underground channel to a spring location at Maglekildevej. Here water poured into a cave through Neptune’s mouth. The health resort was closed after only two years, the building had a vicissitudes of life until it in 1972 was demolished and the land converted to parking space. Kildehuset disappeared early, and in 1927 a small hexagonal house was built, which has been preserved.
This was the most significant spring in the eastern row. Although considerably smaller than Maglekilde, the Klosterkilde spring had a significant extent. The spring was for centuries surrounded by a small shady grove, and in the middle of the 1800s a lot of plant nurseries was built around the spring, and the place was a popular destination. Many gazebos and benches were in the gardener’s garden, and here were served coffee, tea and punch. For a time there was music every Thursday by the city’s musician. In 1903 the area was purchased by French monks, and St. Maria hospital was built in the grounds. The public access to the source was then closed. In the 1950s the spring dried out, but it began to flow again in 1970. After the hospital’s closure in 1991, there is again access to the area.
The water mills
The many mills were a major driver of the city. 10 water mills took advantage of the water power. The four were in an eastern range mainly driven by Klosterkilden, while Maglekilde was the most important of the western range of 5 mills. Vandhulsmøllen was itself a little farther west. It is not known when the mills started, but since the fall turbines replaced wimp turbines around 1100, there was undoubtedly water mills in Roskilde. Watercourse sharp decline, about 30 m over a drain at 1km made it – despite the turbines close location – possible to utilize the more effective mills since they came into use around 1600. Yet in 1900 there were several mill wheels in use, but in 1922 disappeared the last – it was the wheel by Rimors mill.
Vandhulsmøllen / The water hole mill (35)
Kapelsmøllen / Chapel mill (36)
Kapelsmøllen has undoubtedly belonged to one of the cathedral’s chapels in the medieval period. In 1905 the mill pond was filled. The mill was sold to Fællesbageriet (a bakery) and burned down shortly after.
Sct. Clara mølle / Sct. Clara mill (37)
Sct. Clara Monastery bought the mill about 1260, and after the Reformation it was transferred to the University of Copenhagen. Fierce competition between the many mills were probably the reason why the miller in 1831 started a modest paper production. New owners came, and in 1871 the grain the mill was abandoned and the building demolished. A three-storey building was built with a steam engine in addition to hydropower, and production was greatly increased. In 1914, hydropower was abandoned and the mill wheel removed. The factory was closed around 1960.
It is perhaps this mill “by the sea”, that bishop Jacob Erlandsen donated to the Helligåndshuset (house of the Holy Spirit). It is the first time Roskilde’s water mills are mentioned. Strandmøllen served as a mill for the longest time. The municipality bought it in 1908 and leased it out until in 1916 was closed as a mill.
Maglekilde mølle / Maglekilde mill (39)
Maglekilde mill belonged to the cathedral, until it in 1731 came in private ownership after a fire. A new mill building was built, and a smaller paper production began. In 1811 a cotton mill was established. Hydroelectricity was supplemented by a steam engine, and employment peaked in the 1820s, where some 100 worked at the factory or as rag collectors for paper production. The cotton mill part was liquidated in 1830, and the buildings demolished in 1846 when the spa resort was built. The spa resort was a failure and had to close after a few years of operation. In 1867 part of the building was redesigned for a machine shop, where water power was used until 1896, where the workshop was moved.
Rimors mølle / Rimors mill (40)
Rimors mill belonged Sortebrødre monastery until the Reformation, and was then in private hands. In the early 1800s worked as the paper mill, but after a fire in 1847 it was rebuilt, and spinning or weaving machinery was added to the new buildings. A few years later there was another fire, and the current building dates from 1853. At the end of the century the company did well. Hydroelectricity was not enough and horse power, steam and electricity came into use. As the old water wheel in 1922 was worn, it was therefore not renewed, and the city’s last mill wheels disappeared. Millpond was gradually filled up, and in 1965 also disappeared the last vestiges of the city’s last millpond.