Orø-korset fortæller Danmarkshistorie
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The Orø Cross reveals a piece of Danish history

Throughout history, Orø has played a larger political role than it can be said to do today. Back when waterways functioned as the primary connections between regions and cities, Orø had a key location in relation to a much larger part of the island of Zealand than is the case today. Before the damming of the Lammefjord (begun in 1873) and Sidinge Fjord (begun in 1841), people could sail far into the area known today as Northwest Zealand.

This is probably the reason why Orø was the property of the king until 1608. The island had good hunting conditions, and from here, the regent could keep an eye on all of Northern Zealand.

The monarch most associated with Orø today is Queen Margaret I (1353 - 1412). She was the daughter of a king, and as the mother of Oluf, who became king in 1376 when he was only 5 years old, she became the formal ruler of Denmark, despite the fact that the line of succession bypassed women at the time.

Margaret I and Oluf visited Orø several times. Legend has it that they had a castle on the island and it for hunting, but what we know for certain is that a cross has been found on Orø with an inscription that translates to: Oluf King.

The Orø Cross is particularly well-preserved, despite having been made around 1050-1100. The original can be seen at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, but a copy can be seen at the museum Orø Minder. The museum is located in the village of Bybjerg, about 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) from Orø Harbour, right next to Orø church.

In 1608, the Danish king Christian IV was short on money, as he often was. Waging wars was expensive, and so was building all his castles and impressive buildings in Copenhagen, many of which we still know today. The king sold Orø to Roskilde Cathedral, which then owned Orø for 250 years until farmers from the island were permitted to buy back the lands and become freeholders.

Visit the Orø Minder Museum.
Do you want to know more about Orø's history?
Read more about Orø.

Read more stories from Orø or explore exciting tales from other places.
Learn more about Orø Harbor here.

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