Roskilde is a lovely place to visit and is dominated by the cathedral. Not as grand as some cathedrals but several crypts with historic bodies will interest the historians.
Dear Whiterose. I am surprised that your tour guide did not know what the writing on the Kings Column is, as this is one of Roskilde Cathedrals most popular sites. The kings Column in the chapel of the holy magi has been... More
Dear Whiterose. I am surprised that your tour guide did not know what the writing on the Kings Column is, as this is one of Roskilde Cathedrals most popular sites. The kings Column in the chapel of the holy magi has been used for centuries to measure the different heights of visiting royals, both domestic and foreign. The tradition started in 1581, when the king Frederik 2. was curious about his great grandfather Christian 1. (d. 1481) and the stories being told about Christian being almost a giant. So while preparing the sepulchral monument of his Father Christian 3. they discovered the grave of Christian 1. and Frederik seized the opportunity and asked one of his men to measure his great grandfather. They then came of with the height of 219,5 cm. which is abnormally tall for a human. However the height was then marked on the pillar, and that sparked a tradition of having visiting royals measured on the column. In 1847 they reopened Christians grave and since the coffin had molded away they measured his bones and realized he had only been 185 cm, which is still quite tall for a medieval man, but not abnormally. So what is the explanation for this error? Since we have a letter where Frederik ordered one of his men to measure Christians height we must assume that they did not open the coffin but only measured the coffin which was 235cm and then subtracted some centimeters. kind regards David Høyer Heritage Manager