Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cistercians Found Monastery in Norway Near Mediaeval Cistercian Ruins

A reader from Norway sent in interesting news of the founding of a Cistercian monastery in that country -- a country whose official religious affiliation is evangelical Lutheranism -- in Munkeby, near the site of a mediaeval Cistercian monastery long in ruins.

Munkeby, the "place of the monks" was the third and northernmost Norwegian monastery established by the Cistercians in the 12th century. It was located, typically, close to a river, in central Norway's Trøndelag region. Nearby were the crossroads of a trade route to Sweden, and the popular pilgrimage road from Trondheim to Stiklestad, where Saint Olav fell in battle in 1030 implanting Christianity.


The new Munkeby Mariakloster - kloster is Norwegian for monastery - is being constructed over the foundations of a farmhouse in a sheltered rural environment of forest, farmland and pasture. Wood and stone will be primary building materials to blend with the natural landscape.


Next door neighbors and the Levanger commune have warmly welcomed the return of Cistercians, and await the rediscovery of a past that is somehow still present in their hidden memory and in the nearby monastic ruins.

One rather poignant photo shows the four founding monks chanting the Divine Office in the midst of the ruins of the mediaeval Cistercian Abbey:

Cistercian Nuns are also found nearby.

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