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.
The Sankt Hans psychiatric hospital serves the Capital Region with specialized facilities for forensic psychiatry.The cathedral and the Viking Ship Museum, which contains the well-preserved remains of five 11th-century ships, attract more than 100,000 visitors annually.The Reformation brought Roskilde's development to an abrupt stop.While the cathedral continued to be the preferred location for the entombment of the Danish monarchs, most of the other religious institutions disappeared.Industries began to move out of the harbour area but were still the largest source of employment, thanks in part to the spirits factory (De Danske Spritfabrikker) and the slaughterhouse (Roskilde Andelssvineslagteri).
In the 1970s, the city benefited from the Holbæk Motorway which linked it to Copenhagen and the establishment of Roskilde University in 1972.
Roskilde has a long history, dating from the pre-Christian Viking Age.
Its UNESCO-listed Gothic cathedral, now housing 39 tombs of the Danish monarchs, was completed in 1275, becoming a focus of religious influence until the Reformation.
The Risø research facility is also becoming a major employer, extending interest in sustainable energy to the clean technology sphere.
The local university, founded in 1972, the historic Cathedral School, and the Danish Meat Trade College, established in 1964, are educational institutions of note.
According to Adam of Bremen and the Saxo Grammaticus, Roskilde was founded in the 980s by Harald Bluetooth.