As you see in Roskilde Cathedral – Royal Graves and UNESCO World Heritage, part 1, Roskilde Cathedral is both where the Danish Kings and Queens have their final resting place and on the UNESCO World Heritage list. There is so much to tell about this cathedral, that I have chosen to split it up into several posts.
As you walk up to this very tall, big cathedral the King’s Door catches your eye. It’s big, it’s black, it’s morbid. The King’s Door is located in the west front of the cathedral, and the only way you will ever walk through this door is by exiting after a wedding, funeral or confirmation. To enter though these doors – you have to marry up! Way up! You have to be Royal.
I was quite surprised to learn that this door is brand, spanking new! It was executed by Peter Brandes and installed in 2010. The decorations represent the 12 disciples. I guess Old Mamasan does not know her disciples well enough, as that thought didn’t occur to me. To me it looks like something out of a dungeon.
It replaced an oaken double door with carvings from 1872. The old oak doors are deposited at Roskilde Museum. The oak doors replaced King Christian IV’s sandstone and granite entrance, and were the winning entry in a competition.
The new King’s Door is much prettier from the inside – as the golden appearance has been achieved by using bronze that has been polished and patinated. The golden reflection of the door interacts with the golden altarpiece. Golden or not, I also find the inside of the doors to be a lil’ morbid. In the background you see many ears of wheat that refer to the bread broken by Jesus. The bowed heads of the disciples express the reverence which the gift of God’s grace has given them during the meal. “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him, and he vanished from their sight” (Luke 24:31)
Because of the architectural structure of the doorway, the inside of the door is 1,5 meters higher than the outside and a tympanum (triangular section) has therefore been inserted above the door. The decoration on the tympanum represents a wheat field.
We shall all be glad that Old Mamasan is not an art critic; as I would have given this (very costly, no doubt) door a big Fat Fail! (I might not be Open-Minded enough)
More posts from the Roskilde Cathedral coming up, so check back later!