Italian Minestrone Soup

(Norsk versjon / Norwegian version: Italiensk Minestrone Suppe )

With shivering fall fast approaching, it is time to dust off the dust of the hearty, filing, tasty soups. I do hope we avoid those dreary autumn storms for a while, but with this recipe up my sleeve, I will be well prepared.

Let us whip up a large pot of Italian Minestrone soup:

1-14192112_10154178404596622_69699749862901699_nIngredients (12 servings):

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 potatoes, diced
  • 5 carrots, sliced
  • 2 green quash, halved and sliced
  • 1 chili, chopped (remove the seeds if you want a mild version of the soup, add more if you like it more fierce)
  • 2 liters beef stock (use vegetable stock if you prefer the veggie version)
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 250 grams pasta (cooked as per instructions on the packaging) (use gluten free pasta if you are allergic to gluten, or skip it)
  • 2 tins white beans, or bean mix if you prefer, rinsed in cold water. (Remember to water the beans overnight if you use dried beans. I can never remember to do that, so I use the tinned stuff instead)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt, pepper, sugar to taste
  • 5 tablespoons parmesan, grated.

Heat olive oil in a large pot, add onions and garlic and sauté for a couple minutes. Add potatoes and vegetables, and sauté for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Add stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer til cooked, approx. 10 minutes.

Add cooked pasta, rinsed tinned beans and rosemary. Bring to the boil. Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

Drizzle over chopped, fresh parsley and parmesan and serve with good bread (try a homebaked Focaccia). Some bacon bits on top are also nice. Or you can add sausage bits or beef if you want more protein.

The soup is fabulous to freeze, but leave the pasta out if you do. There is nothing wrong in serving the pasta on the side.



Italiensk Minestrone Suppe

(English version: Italian Minestrone Soup)

Høsten star for døren, og det er på tide å børste støv av de gode, varme, mettende suppene. Jeg håper vi unngår de verste høststormene, men med denne oppskriften i ermet er jeg klar til både stormfulle dager og frost.

La oss koke ei diger gryte Minestrone Suppe:

1-14192112_10154178404596622_69699749862901699_nIngredienser (12 porsjoner):

  • 3 ss olivenolje til steking
  • 1 purre i ringer
  • 1 løk i terninger
  • 2 båt hvitløk, finhakket
  • 5 potet i terninger
  • 5 gulrot i skiver
  • 2 grønn squash i halve skiver
  • 1 chili – uten frø, finhakket
  • 2 l kjøttkraft eller buljong
  • 2 bokser hakkede hermetiske tomater
  • 250 g pasta – kokes som angitt på pakken (utelates, eller byttes i glutenfri pasta om du har cøliaki)
  • 2 bokser hvite bønner – skylles i kaldt vann (evt bønnemiks om du foretrekker det)
  • 2 ss hakket frisk rosmarin
  • 2 ss hakket frisk kruspersille
  • smak til med salt, pepper og sukker
  • 5 ss revet parmesan


Ha olivenolje i en stor vid kjele, la løk og hvitløk surre et par minutter. Ha poteter og grønnsaker i og stek videre i 4-5 minutter. Hell på kraft og tomater og la alt småkoke til grønnsakene er møre, ca. 10 minutter.

Tilsett ferdig kokt pasta, bønner som er skylt i kaldt vann og hakket frisk rosmarin.  Kok opp. Smak til med salt, pepper og litt sukker.

Server suppen med persilledryss og parmesan til godt brød (evt Focaccia). Noen sprøstekte baconbiter på toppen er også godt. Evt pølsebiter eller kjøtt dersom du ønsker mer protein i suppa.

Suppen kan fryses, men gjerne uten pastaen. Det er da heller ingenting i veien for å servere pastaen ved siden av.

Vel bekomme!




As we continue our journey through Roskilde Cathedral, we arrive at a fine example of neo-classicism in Frederick V’s Chapel. The chapel was designed by the architect C.F. Harsdorff, who drew inspiration from Paris and Rome. The building was started in 1774 and completed in 1825. The chapel was built to house five sarcophagi, but as the smaller fabric covered coffins grew in popularity, the chapel houses many more tombs than originally foreseen.


Let’s head over to the most impressive of the sarcophagi, Frederick V’s marble sarcophagus with an urn on top and two grieving women (symbolizing Denmark and Norway) on each side. The full name of this sovereign was: By the Grace of God, King of Denmark and Norway, the Wends and the Goths, Duke of Schleswig, Holstein, Stormarn and Dithmarschen, Count of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst. Impressive title, eh? Frederick V (born on 31 March 1723) was king of Denmark-Norway and Duke of Schleswig-Holstein from 1746 until his death. He was the son of Christian VI and Sophia Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach. Christian VI and Sophia Magdalene were deeply devoted to Pietism, and Frederick was given a strict religious upbringing. Although not unfamiliar with religious sentiments, Frederick grew into a hedonist who enjoyed the pleasures of life, especially wine and women.

It is claimed that Frederik V as crown prince was included in the Copenhagen Masonic Lodge St. Martin, in June 1744, although Frederick never published his membership of the lodge. His father, Christian VI, was violently opposed to the Masons. However, as an active Freemason, Frederick V set up on 24 June 1749 the first Masonic lodge in Norway.

Frederick’s propensity for debauchery accelerated his marriage negotiations. He was married on 11 December 1743 to Princess Louise of Great Britain, the youngest surviving daughter of King George II and Caroline of Ansbach. The marriage was proposed by Great Britain as they wished to make an alliance with Denmark. Frederick’s father, King Christian VI, hoped the marriage would lead to British support for his or his son’s claim to the throne of Sweden, and on  a more personal level, there were hopes that marriage would calm the partying Crown Prince down.

At least during the first years, the marriage was described as happy. Frederick was comfortable with her, and Louise looked the other way from Frederick’s vices. They had five children, one of whom did not survive infancy. Louise quickly made herself popular in the Danish court and in Denmark generally. The royal Danish court at the time spoke mostly German, so Louise’s efforts to learn Danish were well appreciated.

On 6 August 1746 – Frederick’s father (King Christian VI) died at Hirschholm Palace (demolished in the early 1800s), on the day before the Royal Couple’s silver marriage festivities, and Frederick and Louise immediately ascended Denmark-Norway’s throne.

As an absolute ruler, Frederick in reality did not participate much in stately affairs. Frederick had fallen for the drink, and most his rule was dominated by very able ministers. The ministers marked his reign by the progress of commerce and industry. They also avoided involving Denmark in the European wars of his time.

While pregnant with her sixth child, Louise died due to complications from a miscarriage on 19 December 1751, predeceasing her husband by fourteen years. She passed away the day after her 27th birthday.


One of Fredericks ministers, Count Moltke, arranged a new marriage for the King (only 6 months after Louise had passed) to Frederick the Great of Prussia’s sister-in-law Duchess Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, in an attempt to stabilize the King’s behavior. The marriage was frowned upon by the people who saw it as too early for the King remarry. The king was initially unwilling to remarry, unless it was with an English princess, which was not available at the time.

Juliana Maria and her sense of rigid etiquette did not really appeal to the King’s taste, and she was never popular with the court. I guess Louise’s shoes were just too big to fill, despite Juliana Maria’s efforts to learn Danish.

As a queen, Juliana Maria lived a quiet and subdued life and had nothing to do with the affairs of state whatsoever. Her brother-in-law, Frederick the Great, had encouraged her marriage and expected her to act as his agent in Denmark and help him to remove certain counts and ministers from their positions, but she never participated in any such thing.

In 1760 Frederick broke his leg in a drunken accident, which greatly weakened him. The king died at the age of forty-two, in 1766, after a twenty-year reign. He had been a pleasant change compared to the pious Christian VI’s autocracy, and when Frederick died he was mourned by all. His last words were reportedly:

“It is a great consolation to me in my last hour that I have never willfully offended anyone, and that there is not a drop of blood on my hands.”

King Frederick V is interred in Roskilde Cathedral next to Queen Louise, and their son Christian VII became King.

This was not the end for Juliana Maria, though, and in my next post from Roskilde Cathedral, you will hear more about the crazy King Christian VII, The Queen-Dowager Juliana Maria and her son hereditary prince Frederick. Feel free to have a sneak peek in this post: Royal Shenanigans


The previous posts in this series can be found here:

Roskilde Cathedral – Royal Graves and UNESCO World Heritage

Roskilde Cathedral – The King’s Door

Roskilde Cathedral – the Nave

Roskilde Cathedral, King Pantsless

Roskilde Cathedral – The Chancel (and a brief history of two womanizing kings)

Roskilde Cathedral – Twice a Queen

Roskilde Cathedral – are they all called Dorothea?

Roskilde Cathedral – The Renaissance Ruler


Roskilde Cathedral – The Masonic Crown Prince

Roskilde Cathedral – The Renaissance Ruler

This is the eight post from Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark – and the third post from the Chapel of the Magi; you can read the previous posts here:

Roskilde Cathedral – Royal Graves and UNESCO World Heritage

Roskilde Cathedral – The King’s Door

Roskilde Cathedral – the Nave

Roskilde Cathedral, King Pantsless

Roskilde Cathedral – The Chancel (and a brief history of two womanizing kings)

Roskilde Cathedral – Twise a Queen

Roskilde Cathedral – are they all called Dorothea?


King Christian III of Denmark and Norway and Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg oldest son (and Dorothea’s least favorite child), Frederick II (1 July 1534 – 4 April 1588) was King of Denmark and Norway and duke of Schleswig from 1559 until his death.

Frederick II depicts the typical renaissance ruler, strongly affected by military ideals (unlike his father). Shortly after his succession he won his first victory by the conquest of Dithmarschen in the summer of 1559.

From his predecessor and father, Christian III, he inherited the Livonian War,  (1558–1583). This war was fought for control of Old Livonia, in the territory of present-day Estonia and Latvia, when the Tsardom of Russia faced off against a varying coalition of Denmark–Norway, the Kingdom of Sweden, the Union of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland. Frederik installed his younger brother Magnus of Holstein, in the Bishopric of Ösel–Wiek, because he considered his younger brother as troublesome. Other than that, he largely tried to avoid conflict in Livonia and consolidated amicable relations to Ivan IV of Russia in the 1562 Treaty of Mozhaysk.

The Scandinavian Seven Years’ War from 1563 to 1570 was the dominating conflict of Frederick’s rule, in which he tried in vain to conquer Sweden, which was ruled by his cousin, the insane King Eric XIV. The war dragged on until it was ended by a status quo peace in the Treaty of Stettin (1570) that let Denmark save face but also showed the limits of Danish military power.

As a person Frederick was described as hot-headed, vain, courageous and ambitious. Frederick was also a major patron and close personal friend of the famous astronomer Tycho Brahe.

Frederik wanted to marry his mistress, Anne of Hardenberg, much to the dismay of both his mother and the Counsil, and he was finally persuaded not to. In his time as a bachelor he also wooed Queen Elizabeth I of England, an initiative which made him Knight of the Garter.

On 20 July 1572, Frederick married Sophia of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, a descendant of King John of Denmark, and also his own first cousin, through their grandfather, Frederick I, King of Denmark and Norway. They had eight children, and the oldest son (Christian IV) succeeded to the crown.

Frederik II was a lover of hunting, wine, women and feasts and at his death on 4 April 1588, it was a common opinion that he had jeopardized his health and drunk himself to death.


His wife is also a rather interesting character, Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow (4 September 1557 – 14 October 1631).

On July 20, 1572, thirty-seven year old Frederik II married his fourteen year old first cousin, Sophie. The King was barred from marrying his mistress Anne of Hardenberg, and the Council arranged the marriage with the young Sophie. They had wanted to him to marry for some time. The marriage was described as harmonious, despite the age difference between Sophie and Frederick, and his frequent indiscressions and heavy drinking.

Sophie showed a keen interest in science and visited the astronomer Tycho Brahe. She had a great love of knowledge. Later, she would be known as one of the most learned Queens of the time. She was also interested in the old songs of folklore. Queen Sophie had no political power during the lifetime of her spouse. When her underage son Christian IV became King in 1588, she had no place in the Regency Council.

The Dowager Queen Sophie  organised a grand funeral for her spouse, arranged for the dowries for her daughters and for her own allowance, all independently and against the will of the Council. She engaged in a power struggle with the Regents of Denmark and with the Council of State, came into conflict with the government, and was exiled her to the Palace of Nykøbing Slot on the island of Falster. In addition to studying chemistry, astronomy and other sciences, the Dowager Queen Sophie managed her estates in Lolland-Falster so well that her son could borrow money from her on several occasions for his wars. She also engaged in large-scale trade and in money-lending. Sophie died as the richest woman in Northern Europe at the age of seventy-four.


Here is a lil Trivia for ya:

A Danish noble and lady-in-waiting, Rigborg Brockenhuus (1579 – 1641), was the central figure in a famous sexual offence case in 1599. Rigborg  became maid of honor to the queen, Anne Catherine of Brandenburg in 1598 where she took up with the courtier Frederik Holgersen Rosenkrantz. – whom was already engaged to another woman, Christence Viffert. Rigborg gave birth to an illegitimate son, Holger, in 1599.

King Christian IV got mad and charged the couple with having broken the conduct of the royal court and the presence of the monarch, as well as the common law of seduction – an exceptional judgment against two nobles.

Rigborg was sentenced to life imprisonment in a room in her father’s castle, and her son Holger was turned over to the custody of his father’s family. The reason for me to include this lil bit of trivia in his post, is because the queen dowager Sophie helped having the sentence softened, in 1608 Sophie obtained permission for Rigborg to leave her room to attend church once a week.

Rosenkrantz was sentenced to lose his nobility and to have two fingers amputated. Through the intervention of astronomer Tycho Brahe, his sentence was later softened.

Now, here comes the bit that will earn you many points in your next Pub Quiz: Frederik Rosenkrantz, the father of Holger, was – along with his friend Knud Gyldenstierne – the inspiration for the two treacherous characters Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

There are more pictures from this beautiful church, and interesting stories of Danish Royals, so please check back later.

Roskilde Cathedral – are they all called Dorothea?

This is the seventh post from Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark – and the second post from the Chapel of the Magi; you can read the previous posts here:

Roskilde Cathedral – Royal Graves and UNESCO World Heritage

Roskilde Cathedral – The King’s Door

Roskilde Cathedral – the Nave

Roskilde Cathedral, King Pantsless

Roskilde Cathedral – The Chancel (and a brief history of two womanizing kings)

Roskilde Cathedral – Twise a Queen


As discussed in the previous post from the Chapel of the Magi, the tradition of royal burials in Roskilde Cathedral was resumed after the Reformation. The most magnificent sepulchers are those of Christian III (died 1559) and Frederik II (died 1588). They are both made by Dutch artists in the Renaissance style as small antique temples with decorations inspired by ancient Rome. Let us look into the King who brought the Reformation to Denmark, and his influential queen:

Christian III (12 August 1503 – 1 January 1559) reigned as king of Denmark and Norway from 1534 until his death. He was the eldest son of King Frederick I and Anna of Brandenburg.

Inspired by his tutors, who were devout Lutherans, Christian established Lutheranism as the state religion of his realms in a reformation. By urging of his Lutheran tutors, Christian heard Martin Luther speak in 1521 at the Diet of Worms, and was clearly intrigued by Luther’s arguments. The prince’s outspokenness brought him into conflict with both his father and the Catholic Rigsraad. At his own court at Schleswig he did his best to introduce the Protestant Reformation, despite the opposition of the bishops.

After his father’s death, in 1533, Christian was proclaimed king in 1534. The Danish State Council (rigsraad), dominated by the still Catholic bishops and nobles, refused to accept Duke Christian as king and turned to Count Christopher of Oldenburg in order to restore Christian II to the Danish throne (Christian II had supported both the New and Old Faiths at various times). In opposition to King Christian III, Count Christopher was proclaimed regent.

This resulted in a two-year civil war, known as the Count’s Feud (Grevens Fejde, 1534–36), between Protestant and Catholic forces. During the war, 3,000 people were massacred in Aalborg, Jutland, and the city was plundered by Protestant German mercenaries. By the help of the Protestant Swedish king Gustav Vasa, Christian also defeated the Catholics at Loshult. The Lutheran Swedes moved against Helsingborg Castle, which surrendered in January 1535 and was burned to the ground. Count Christopher’s forces held out in Malmø and Copenhagen until July 1536 when they surrendered after several months of siege by Christian’s forces. With their capitulation, Christian III was firmly emplaced upon Denmark’s throne, and the Catholic forces in Denmark were subdued. Alot of blood was shedded in rearranging within the same religion…

The triumph of a German-speaking Lutheran like Christian III would eventually bring about an end to Catholic Christianity in Denmark, but Catholics still controlled the Council of State. Christian III ordered the arrest of three of the bishops on the State Council by his German mercenaries (12 August 1536). Martin Luther wrote to the king congratulating him on his success.

Churches were closed, cathedral schools terminated, and recalcitrant priests turned out of their parishes. Catholic bishops were imprisoned unless they agreed to marry and give up their privileges. Some submitted after years of imprisonment; others refused to accept the New Faith and became martyrs.

King Christian III died on New Year’s Day 1559 and was interred in Roskilde Cathedral.


Let us look into his queen and wife: Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg (9 July 1511 – 7 October 1571), consort of Christian III from 1525.

Dorothea was raised in one of the first states in Germany were the reformation was proclaimed, and was affected from Lutheranism early in life. She was married to Christian on 29 October 1525, and became queen in 1533, though due to the Civil War (Count’s Feud) that immediately followed her husband’s accession to the throne, her coronation did not take place until 1537.

Queen Dorothea was interested in politics, and although it is unclear exactly how much influence she had, she is thought to have participated in appointing and dismissing officials. She was, however, prevented from taking a formal seat in the council. She never learned to speak Danish. Her control over her ladies-in-waiting was strict. In 1540, Birgitte Gøye was freed from her engagement with her assistance, which led to a law banning arranged engagements of minors. She was widowed in 1559.

As a widow, she lived in Kolding, and she visited her children in Germany regularly. She exerted a stern discipline over her children even after they had become adults, and her acts as a guardian to them were described as strict and intense. She often protected the younger children from their reigning brother, and favored her younger son. It is speculated that her oldest son did not want to give his mother the pleasure of seeing him married, so he waited til after her death.

Queen dowager Dorothea tried to marry her brother-in-law and neighbor, Duke John II of Schleswig-Holstein-Haderslev (1521–1580) – to the great opposition of her son and various theologists and marriage was ultimately prevented. This began the breakdown of her relationship with her son, King Frederick, which had never been particularly close. Her relationship to her reigning son grew worse during the war of 1563–70, when the King discovered that her mother had tried to go behind his back and form an alliance with Sweden by offering marriage between her favorite son Magnus, and Princess Sophia of Sweden. This last made the king regard her a traitor, and he exiled her to Sønderborg Castle, where she spent the remainder of her life.

Queen Dorothea is interred next to her husband in Roskilde Cathedral.

Check back later, for in my next post from Roskilde Cathedral we will meet the son Dorothea didn’t like all that much. King Frederik II.




An Irishman goes into a bar…

Good morning and welcome to this week’s #WeekendCoffeeShare!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have had a limited online presence lately, and I surely hope y’all have missed me immensely! (If not – then what is the point of this whole blog endeavor?) 

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about the birthday gift Sir Nerdalot and I gave each other (we both turn a year older and greyer in the summer) this year: a romantic weekend in Dublin, Ireland.

1-14068308_10154165791501622_6611740860291124240_nIf we were having coffee, we wouldn’t! Because we are strolling the sidewalks of Dublin this weekend, so we would be having Guinness and Uisce Beatha (the Gaelic term for whiskey, translates to “water of life”). If you must have coffee, then it would have to be an Irish Coffee, after all – only Irish Coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: Alcohol, Caffeine, Sugar and Fat. Also, it would leave a twinkle in your eyes.


If we were having coffee Guinness, I would promise to take lots of pictures, and put them on my blog. And I will. I just want to finish the Roskilde Cathedral-series before I put up posts from our visit to Dublin.

If we were having coffee Guinness, I would tell you a “An Irishman goes into a bar”joke:

An Irishman goes into a bar in America and orders three whiskeys. The barman asks: “Would it be better for if I put all three shots in one glass?”

The Irishman replies: “No! I have two other brothers back at home, so every time I come into a pub, I order a shot for them both.”

The following week, the Irishman orders just two whiskeys.

The barman asks: “Did something happen one of your brothers?” “Oh no,” replies the Irishman. “I just decided to quit drinking!”



Care to join us at the #WeekendCoffeeShare ? Then go to  Parttime Monster Blog and join the link up!

Want to see my previous contributions to the #WeekendCoffeeShare? They are funny, I promise:


Sausage much?

Brexit explained

The Nerve!

Brexit Tea


Trouble is my middle name

We should not sleep away the summer night

Diet much?

Wolf Whistle much?

An eggy conundrum

Happy Mother’s Day!


Nice to meet you

Coffee and taxes

read my blog




This is the sixth post from Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark; you can read the previous posts here:

Roskilde Cathedral – Royal Graves and UNESCO World Heritage

Roskilde Cathedral – The King’s Door

Roskilde Cathedral – the Nave

Roskilde Cathedral, King Pantsless

Roskilde Cathedral – The Chancel (and a brief history of two womanizing kings)


Chapel of the Magi, or Christian I’s chapel, was built in the second half of the 1400s by King Christian I (died 1841) as a sepulcher for himself, his queen Dorothea and their descendants. Christian I and Dorothea are buried in a small burial chamber under the floor.

Christian I (February 1426 – 21 May 1481) was a Scandinavian monarch under the Kalmar Union. He was King of Denmark (1448–1481), Norway (1450–1481) and Sweden (1457–1464).

A power vacuum arose following the childless death of King Christopher of Denmark, Sweden and Norway in 1448, and Sweden elected Charles VIII king with the intent to reestablish the union under a Swedish king. Charles was elected king of Norway in the following year, but the counts of Holstein were more influential than the Swedes and the Norwegians together, and made the Danish Privy Council appoint Christian as king. By his subsequent accession to the thrones of Norway (in 1450) and Sweden (in 1457), the Kalmar Union was restored for a short period.

Sweden broke away from the union in 1463, and Christian’s attempt at a reconquest resulted in his defeat to the Swedish regent Sten Sture the Elder at the Battle of Brunkeberg in 1471.

In 1474, Christian obtained permission from Pope Sixtus IV, to found the University of Copenhagen – which opened in 1479.


Dorothea of Brandenburg (1430/1431 – 10 November 1495) was the wife of Christopher of Bavaria and Christian I of Denmark. She was Queen of Denmark (1445–1448 and 1449–1481), Norway (1445–1448 and 1450–1481), and Sweden (1447–1448 and 1457–1464). She also served as regent in Denmark during the absences of her spouse.

On 12 September 1445, the young Dorothea married Christopher of Bavaria, King of Denmark from 1440 to 1448, Sweden from 1441 to 1448 and Norway from 1442 to 1448. The wedding was held in Copenhagen. She was crowned queen of the three kingdoms on 14 September 1445.

After Christopher’s death, Dorothea married the next elected king of Denmark, King Christian I, on 28 October 1449. In 1457, she became queen of Sweden for the second time, and was crowned in Uppsala Cathedral – thus making her Twise a Queen in the Kalmar Union.

Dorothea served as regent during the absence of her spouse, she wasn’t just arm candy. She was granted the slotsloven, which meant she had the right to command all the castles in Denmark. She was a powerful political figure due to her strong economic position, both with regard to her husband and her son. She even acquired fiefs from her husband when she lent him money he could not pay back. (I would have loved to witness such a display of girl power!)

Dorothea was described as cold, practical and frugal. As a widow, she stayed mainly at Kalundborg castle. She died on 25 November 1495, and is interred next to her second husband in Roskilde Cathedral.


The chapel is richly decorated with frescoes that are intended to emphasize the daily intercession that should be prayed for the souls of the royal family in all eternity. You have the Magi in front of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus on her lap, the Holy Family, the Crucifixion and the Day of Judgement depicted in the frescos.

 On the central pillar that carries the four vaults a row of markings indicate the height of royal visitors to the cathedral over the years. The base of the column is from the 1100s and features a hand-hewn Romanesque palmette frieze.

Christian I and Dorothea’s son King Hans and his son Christian II are buried in Odense. After the Reformation the tradition of royal burials in Roskilde Cathedral was resumed and the most magnificent sepulchers are those of Christian III (died 1559) and Frederik II (died 1588) – which you can read about in my next post from the Chapel of the Magi at Roskilde Cathedral.



Roskilde Cathedral – Twice a Queen


This is the fifth post from Roskilde Cathedral in Roskilde, Denmark, you can read the previous posts here:

Roskilde Cathedral – Royal Graves and UNESCO World Heritage

Roskilde Cathedral – The King’s Door

Roskilde Cathedral – the Nave

Roskilde Cathedral, King Pantsless


Towards the end of the 1600s Christian V decided to convert the high chancel into a royal burial place. Christian V and Frederick IV (Christian V’s son) are buried here with their queens in magnificent baroque, marble sarcophagi bearing portraits of the deceased.

Christian V (15 April 1646 – 25 August 1699) was king of Denmark and Norway from 1670 until his death in 1699.

Well-regarded by the common people, he was the first king anointed at Frederiksborg Castle chapel as absolute monarch by automatic hereditary succession, since the decree that institutionalized the supremacy of the Danish king. He fortified the absolutist system against the aristocracy by accelerating his father’s practice of allowing Holstein nobles and Danish commoners into state service.

On a trip abroad, he saw absolutism in its most splendid achievement at the young Louis XIV’s court, and heard about the theory of the divine right of kings. (A political and religious doctrine of royal and political legitimacy. It asserts that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving the right to rule directly from the will of God. It is often expressed in the phrase “by the Grace of God”, attached to the titles of a reigning monarch. It implies that only God can judge an unjust king and that any attempt to depose, dethrone or restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act. Also referred to as divine right, or God’s mandate.)

Christian V introduced Danske Lov (the Danish Code) in 1683, the first law code for all of Denmark. It was succeeded by the similar Norske Lov (Norwegian Code) of 1687. He also introduced the land register of 1688, which attempted to work out the land value of the united monarchy in order to create a more just taxation.



One of the most visited tourist attractions in Copenhagen was built on Christian V’s orders; you can see pictures of Nyhavn by clicking the link:

Enjoying Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark

Christian V had eight children by his wife and six by his Maîtresse-en-titre, Sophie Amalie Moth (1654–1719), whom he took up with when she was sixteen. Sophie was the daughter of his former tutor Poul Moth. Christian publicly introduced Sophie into court in 1672, a move which insulted his wife, and made her countess of Samsø on 31 December 1677.

He died from the after-effects of a hunting accident and was interred right here in Roskilde Cathedral.


 As we will get into shortly, his son also had an interesting, and somewhat complicated, love life. Frederick IV (11 October 1671 – 12 October 1730) was the king of Denmark and Norway from 1699 until his death. Frederick was the son of King Christian V of Denmark-Norway and his consort Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel.

Frederick was allowed to choose his future wife from a number of Protestant royal daughters in northern Germany. However, the pickings were slim, and on 5 December 1695 at Copenhagen Castle, he married Louise of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, herself a great-great-granddaughter of Frederick II of Denmark. The couple was crowned King and Queen of Denmark-Norway on 25 August 1699 in the Frederiksborg Chapel, where the Barock garden was originally created by the court gardener Johan Cornelius Krieger for King Frederick IV in the early 1720s. I have written about both Fredriksborg Castle and the Gardens in these posts (with lots of pictures):


Help! I’m locked in a beautiful castle!

Baroque Garden Much?

During Frederick’s rule Copenhagen was struck by two disasters: the plague of 1711, and the great fire of October 1728, which destroyed most of the medieval capital. Although the king had been persuaded by Ole Rømer to introduce the Gregorian calendar in Denmark-Norway in 1700, the astronomer’s observations and calculations were among the treasures lost to the fire.

For much of Frederick IV’s reign Denmark was engaged in the Great Northern War (1700–1721) against Sweden, and much of the king’s life was spent in strife with kinsmen. Two of his first cousins, Charles XII of Sweden and Frederick IV, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (the three men were the grandsons of Frederick III of Denmark), had waged war upon his father jointly.

Frederick was deemed a man of responsibility and industry — often regarded as the most intelligent of Denmark’s absolute monarchs. He seems to have mastered the art of remaining independent of his ministers. Lacking all interest in academic knowledge, he was nevertheless a patron of culture, especially in art and architecture. His main weaknesses were probably pleasure-seeking and womanizing (Cheating seems to have been normal for the Royals back then), which sometimes distracted him. He was the second to last Danish king who joined a morganatic marriage (the last was Frederick VII with Louise Rasmussen aka Countess Danner, his third wife. You can read about Frederick the VII’s rather scandalous first marriage in this post: Royal Shenanigans).

01-DSCN0247Without divorcing his first queen, Louise, in 1703 he married Elisabeth Helene von Vieregg (d.1704). After the death of Elisabeth, he entered a romance with her lady-in-waiting Charlotte Helene von Schindel, though he later lost interest in her. Frederick fell in love with the 19-year-old Countess Anne Sophie Reventlow whom he carried off from her home, after the refusal of her mother to turn her younger daughter into a royal mistress, and a secret marriage was held at Skanderborg on 26 June 1712. At that time he accorded her the title “Duchess of Schleswig” (derived from one of his own subsidiary titles). Three weeks after Queen Louise’s death in Copenhagen on 4 April 1721, he legalized his relationship with Anna Sophie by a new marriage, this time exalting her queen (the only wife of an hereditary Danish king to bear that title who was not a princess by birth), it was undoubtedly a relief to get out of a relationship they both saw as sin. Of the nine children born to him of these three wives, only two of them survived to adulthood: the future Christian VI and Princess Charlotte-Amalia, both from the first marriage. All the children considered bastards, did not survive more than a year, and was regarded as a punishment of divine providence by the nobility and clergy.


Frederick’s relationship with Anna Sophie after 1721 was exceedingly happy. However, during the king’s last years he fell afflicted with weak health suffering from dropsy (Edema) and the consequences of an accident in an explosion in a cannon foundry in Copenhagen. He also had private sorrows that inclined him toward Pietism. That form of faith would rise to prevalence during the reign of his son. On his last years, Frederick IV asked the loyalty of his son in order to protect Queen Anna Sophie. He was buried in Roskilde Cathedral, the mausoleum of Danish royals.

After Frederick IV’s death in 1730, Queen Anna Sophie was expelled from Copenhagen to her birthplace, Clausholm Castle near Randers in Jutland. She was styled “Queen Anne Sophie”, not “Queen Anne Sophie of Denmark and Norway” or “Queen Dowager“. She spent the rest of her life in religious seclusion, under virtual house arrest on her estate, which the king did not allow her to leave without his express permission. Upon her death, King Christian VI allowed for public mourning and arranged to have her buried in Roskilde Cathedral, although to keep her from being buried with his father in the retroquire, he purchased the Trolle family chapel in the west end of the cathedral, and arranged for her and her children to be buried there.


On the four pillars surrounding the chancel are frescoes depicting Harold Bluetooth, King Canute’s sister Estrid and her son Sweyn Estridsen, and Sweyns close friend bishop Vilhelm. All four died long before the cathedral was built but have been moved from from an earlier church, probably in the 1200s. The graves are located under the frescoes in niches hewn in the pillar and covered by stone slabs, except of Harold Bluetooth’s grave where both niche and stone cover are missing. The burial place of Harold Bluetooth is not known so the monument is possibly only a memorial tablet for “the founder of the cathedral” as he is called in the inscription.


In front of the four marble sarcophagi is a monument to Duke Christopher, brother of Margrethe I (you can read her very fascinating story here: Roskilde Cathedral, King Pantsless), who died in 1363. The small knight and the coat-of-arms are made of alabaster, and the gemstones are now of colored glass. In 1878 the figure was reassembled and placed in its current position. Until then it had been kept in several pieces in a wooden chest, as it was destroyed during the Reformation. The sarcophagus is empty as the prince is probably buried beneath the church floor.


Under the chansel is the Royal Children’s Crypt which was dug in 1690 and named acording to its use. Today the crypt contains coffins moved from Ove Skade’s crypt in 1975.

Check back later for more royal history and pictures from this beautiful church.


Roskilde Cathedral – The Chancel (and a brief history of two womanizing kings)

Roskilde Cathedral, King Pantsless

As we continue our photographic and historic tour of the Roskilde Cathedral, we have now reached the Canon’s Chancel, and we get introduced to King Pantsless, whose final resting place is right here. But first – the altarpiece:


The golden altarpiece

The altarpiece

The altarpiece is three-winged and made in Antwerp around 1560. The reliefs of the open altarpiece depict the events of Easter week, Christ’s agony, his death and, below, his childhood. The reverse side shows reliefs of Christ’s good works. It is not known exactly when the altarpiece came to Roskilde Cathedral, but it was described for the first time in 1623 by a German count visiting Roskilde.  The candlesticks on the communion table are of brass and from the late 1600s. They were discovered in a small room in the southern transept by a churchwarden in 1860 and were cleaned and put in their present position. The Bible on the communion table is from the time of King Frederik II. The deluxe binding from 1916 has silver ornaments designed by the painter Joachim Skovgaard. The antependium (the hanging in front of the communion table), the altar carpet and the kneeler upholstery were woven by Anna Thommesen in 1977.


The candle sticks and some details of the altar piece


More details


It’s an impressive sight!

King Pantsless

Behind the altarpiece there is a beautiful sarcophagus containing the remains of Queen Margrete I. She was originally buried in Sorø (as per her own wish) in 1412, but her remains were abducted by the Roskilde Bishop (!!!) and transferred to Roskilde the following year. It is said that the event was celebrated with a ceremony lasting three days and that a gilded silver chalice and an altar cloth embroidered by the queen herself were donated to each of the 50 altars in the church at that time. According to the inscription, the sarcophagus was paid for by Erik of Pomerania in 1423. In the 1700s all of the decorations on the sarcophagus were removed. They were restored during the period 1862-912. Some of the original figures are on display in the Cathedral Museum.


Queen Margrete I, although never officially Queen of Denmark, is an interesting and rare figure that it is worth spending some time getting to know:

Margaret I (Margrete Valdemarsdatter) was born in March 1353 as the sixth and youngest child of King Valdemar IV of Denmark and Helvig of Schleswig. Three of her siblings died young, and only Christoffer, Ingeborg and Margrete reached adulthood, and only Margrete lived longer than her father.

In 1359, Margrete as a six-year-old child, was engaged to the 18-year-old King Haakon VI of Norway, who was youngest son of the Swedish-Norwegian king Magnus IV & VII. As part of the marriage contract it is presumed that a treaty was signed which meant that King Valdemar had to assist Magnus in a dispute with his second son, Eric “XII” of Sweden, who in 1356 was hailed as king there and had been given dominion over Southern Sweden. Margaret’s marriage was thus a part of the Nordic power struggle. (I am serious; who needs “Big Brother” and other garbage-TV when there is entertaining history like this to be read? There is enough drama in history to last me a lifetime!)


King Pantsless rests right behind the altarpiece

The engagement did not last long as Magnus and Valdemar fell into disagreement, and a new bride for Haakon, Elisabeth of Rendsburg, was decided. Rendsburg was one of Valdemar’s enemies, and as a countermove, Valdemar occupied Skåne. Towards the end of 1362 the archbishop of Lund captured Elisabeth as she was on her way to celebrate her engagement with Haakon, and he declared that the wedding was a violation of church law because Haakon had already been engaged to Margaret (basically saying that an engagement is as binding as marriage). A truce was concluded between Magnus and Valdemar (I guess one or both offered an Apology) which meant that the marriage of the now 10-year-old Margaret and King Haakon was again relevant. The wedding was held in Copenhagen on 9 April 1363 in Copenhagen. Margret’s 21 year old brother Christoffer was severely wounded after participating in the war in Skåne, and died before the wedding celebrations were over. It was a sad bride that travelled to Oslo, Norway, with her husband.

King Valdemar had entered a clause in the wedding contract that the marriage was not to be consummated until Margrete reached puberty. The young Princess were taken to Akershus and handed over to the foster care of the Swedish Noblewoman Märtha Ulfsdatter. This was a surprising choice as Märtha was daughter of Birgitta of Vadstena (canonized in 1391), whom had written many bad things about Haakon’s own father, Magnus Eriksson, and even said that he was homosexual. (Probably as a smearing campaign against the opposition in her attempts to put her own grandson, Karl Karlsson, on the Swedish throne.) Best guess as of why Haakon let Märtha Ulfsdatter raise his young bride, is that she was married to Haakon’s friend and trusted companion Knut Algotsson. Thus Margrete grew up with Martha’s daughter, Ingegjerd, as foster sister and classmate. That upbringing probably emphasized religion and things Margaret should know as a woman and a queen.  Her academic studies were probably limited, but it is assumed that in addition to reading and writing she also was taught the general political situation. Margrethe was a Danish Princess who grew up in Norway with a Swedish foster mom. How’s that for international for ya!


Margrethe’s marriage to Haakon was consummated when she was 15 years old, and she was pregnant when the plague for the third time in 20 years haunted Oslo. Christmas 1370 she gave birth to her only (known) child, a son named Olaf.

Her first act after her father’s death in 1375 was to procure the election of her infant son Olaf as king of Denmark, despite the claims of her elder sister’s Ingeborg’s husband Duke Henry III of Mecklenburg and their son Albert. (Her sister Ingeborg was already diseased) Margaret insisted that Olaf be proclaimed rightful heir of Sweden, among his other titles. He was too young to rule in his own right, and Margaret proved herself a competent and shrewd ruler in the years that followed. On the death of Haakon in 1380, Olaf succeeded him as King of Norway. Olaf died suddenly in 1387, aged 17, and Margaret, who had ruled both kingdoms in his name, was chosen Regent of Norway and Denmark in the following year.


In Sweden, King Albert had grown immensely unpopular, so unpopular that several of the powerful nobles wrote to Margaret that if she would help rid Sweden of Albert, she would become their regent. She quickly gathered an army and invaded Sweden.

At a conference held at Dalaborg Castle in March 1388, the Swedes were compelled to accept all of Margaret’s conditions, elected her “Sovereign Lady and Ruler”, and committed themselves to accept any king she chose to appoint. On 24 February 1389 Albert, who had called her “King Pantsless” and had returned from Mecklenburg with an army of mercenaries, was routed and taken prisoner at Aasle near Falköping, and Margaret was now the omnipotent mistress of three kingdoms. In reality, Queen Margaret ruled the whole Nordic regions, because Iceland, Shetland, the Orkneys, the Faroe Islands and Greenland were all Norwegian territory at the time,  and Finland was ruled under Sweden. How’s that for girl power?


Remember a couple paragraphs up that Margrete’s son had passed away? Well, this smart woman adopted her great-nephew Erik of Pomerania and his sister Catherine, and in 1389 she proclaimed Erik of Pomerania king of Norway. It had been understood that Margaret should, at the first convenient opportunity, provide the three kingdoms with a king who was to be a kinsman of all the three old dynasties, although in Norway it was specified that she would continue ruling alongside the new king. In 1396, homage was rendered to Erik in Denmark and Sweden, while Margaret once again assumed the regency during his minority. To weld the united kingdoms still more closely together, Margaret summoned a congress of the three Councils of the Realm to Kalmar in June 1397, and on 17 June, Erik was crowned King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The proposed Act of Union divided the three Councils, and the actual deed embodying its terms never got further than an unratified draft. Margaret balked at the clauses which insisted that each country should retain exclusive possession of its own laws and customs and be administered by its own dignitaries, because in her opinion this prevented the complete amalgamation of Scandinavia. A few years after the Kalmar Union, the 18-year-old Erik was declared of age and homage was rendered to him in all his three kingdoms, although Margaret was the effective ruler of Scandinavia throughout her lifetime.



I still have lots to show you from Roskilde Cathedral, so please check back later!