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The Roskilde bishops owned large areas of land in the region including, from 1186, Havn on the Øresund which later became Copenhagen.

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Roskilde, which developed as the hub of the Viking land and sea trade routes over a thousand years ago, is one of Denmark's oldest cities.

From the 11th century until 1443, it was the capital of Denmark.

With the development of the rail network in the 19th century, Roskilde became an important hub for traffic with Copenhagen, and by the end of the century, there were tobacco factories, iron foundries and machine shops.

Among the largest private sector employers today are the IT firm BEC (Bankernes EDB Central) and GPI (Glim Plastic Industri), specializing in plastics.

Although no traces of these buildings have been discovered, in 1997 archaeologists found the remains of Viking ships in the Isefjord, the oldest of which is dated to 1030.

At the time, there were also two churches in the area: St Jørgensbjerg, an early stone church, and a wooden church discovered under today's St Ib's Church.

As a result of Absalon's influence, many other churches were built in the vicinity, making Roskilde the most important town in Zealand.

Coins were minted there from the 11th to the 14th century.

According to Adam of Bremen and the Saxo Grammaticus, Roskilde was founded in the 980s by Harald Bluetooth.

On high ground above the harbour, he built a wooden church consecrated to the Holy Trinity as well as a royal residence nearby.

In addition to its internationally recognized tourist attractions and its annual rock festival, Roskilde is popular with shoppers thanks to its two centrally located pedestrian streets complete with restaurants, cafés, and a variety of shops.

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