Roskilde Mansion replaced a bishop's palace which had stood at the site since the Middle Ages. Commissioned by King Christian VI, the new building was constructed to provide a residence for the royal family when they passed through the city or attended royal funerals and other ceremonies in Roskilde Cathedral. Lauritz de Thurah who had recently been engaged as royal master builder, was charged with its design in 1733 and the palace was completed in 1736.
During the English siege of Copenhagen in 1807, the mansion served as headquarters of general Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington. Later in the century, it provided a venue for the so-called Assembly of the Estates, a key event leading up to the adoption of the Danish constitution in 1849.
Built in the Baroque style, in yellow-washed masonry and with red tile roofs, the four-winged complex consists of a two-storey main wing, two one-storey lateral wings and a curved gate wing opening to the Stændertorvet. The four wings are connected by curving galleries. Facing the courtyard, the facade of the main wing has pilasters and a median risalit tipped by a triangular pediment decorated with the royal coat of arms. Dating from the 13th century, the Gate of Absalon which connects the mansion to the apsis of Roskilde Cathedral, is the only surviving part of the former bishop's palace.
Since 1924, one of the wings has been home to the office and official residence of the Bishop of Roskilde. The rest of the complex houses Roskilde Museum of Contemporary Art, founded in 1991, as well as Roskilde Art Association and the Palace Collections. The mansion's gardens and courtyard are also used for exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events.References:
Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.
The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.
Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.
The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.
Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.