Sunday, 7 November 2010

What to see: Frederik IX’s Mausoleum, Roskilde

Today ten years have passed by since the death of Queen Ingrid of Denmark. The much-loved Queen Ingrid died at 4.27 p.m. on 7 November 2000 in the Chancellery House at Fredensborg, which had been her summer residence since 1974 and her permanent home since she left Frederik VIII’s Mansion at Amalienborg in 1997. She was 90 years old.
The announcement of Queen Ingrid’s death in the dark autumn evening almost immediately led to people gathering at Amalienborg and placing flowers and candles outside her mansion. The public outpouring of grief was also the reason why it was decided that Queen Ingrid should lie in state in Christiansborg Palace Church, the first consort to do so since Dowager Queen Juliane Marie in 1796.
A week after her death the coffin was taken through the streets of Copenhagen and by train to Roskilde, where the state funeral took place in the Cathedral.
Queen Ingrid was laid to rest next to her husband, King Frederik IX, in the open-air mausoleum outside the Cathedral’s main entrance. Whereas all previous monarchs since 1536 had been laid to rest inside the Cathedral, the old sailor King Frederik wished to have his grave under the open sky.
The outdoors mausoleum was designed by the architects Wilhelm Wohlert, Inger Exner and Johannes Exner and consists of an octagonal brick wall with a cast iron gate. When it was completed in 1985, the coffin of Frederik IX, which had until then reposed in Christian IX’s Mausoleum inside the Cathedral, was buried beneath a tombstone of Greenlandic stone with a sculpted anchor by Erik Heide.
Frederik IX’s mausoleum has space for ten graves, but it was announced earlier this year that Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik have decided to be buried inside the Cathedral and have commissioned the artist Bjørn Nørgaard to create their cenotaph.

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