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A Brief History of Medieval Monasticism in Denmark (with Schleswig, Rügen and Estonia)

Johnny Grandjean Gøgsig Jakobsen
Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics, University of Copenhagen, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark
Religions 2021, 12(7), 469;
Submission received: 30 April 2021 / Revised: 20 June 2021 / Accepted: 21 June 2021 / Published: 25 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medieval Monasticism in Northern Europe)


Monasticism was introduced to Denmark in the 11th century. Throughout the following five centuries, around 140 monastic houses (depending on how to count them) were established within the Kingdom of Denmark, the Duchy of Schleswig, the Principality of Rügen and the Duchy of Estonia. These houses represented twelve different monastic orders. While some houses were only short lived and others abandoned more or less voluntarily after some generations, the bulk of monastic institutions within Denmark and its related provinces was dissolved as part of the Lutheran Reformation from 1525 to 1537. This chapter provides an introduction to medieval monasticism in Denmark, Schleswig, Rügen and Estonia through presentations of each of the involved orders and their history within the Danish realm. In addition, two subchapters focus on the early introduction of monasticism to the region as well as on the dissolution at the time of the Reformation. Along with the historical presentations themselves, the main and most recent scholarly works on the individual orders and matters are listed.

For half a millennium, monasticism was a very important feature in Denmark. From around the middle of the 11th century, when the first monastic-like institutions were introduced, to the middle of the 16th century, when the last monasteries were dissolved as a consequence of the Protestant Reformation, religious communities of monks, nuns, friars and sisters played a central and many-sided role in Danish society. Twelve monastic orders were eventually represented in Denmark, some even with differing congregations, and besides offering a variety of kinds of religious lives for their affiliated members, the altogether 140 monastic houses that at one point existed in the medieval Danish church province also held a significant impact on the rest of society.1 The ‘regular clergy’, so termed because they followed monastic rules, constituted an important additional axis within the medieval Church to the ‘secular clergy’ of bishops, canons secular, parish priests and vicars, often supplementing and assisting the latter group in numerous ways. Several monasteries were intellectual centres at the same level as the secular cathedral chapters, or even above, and numerous secular clergy began their ecclesiastical training in a local monastery. Occasionally, some monasteries functioned as rivals to the secular church, for instance by contesting the theological and pastoral authority of bishops and parish priests or by competing for donations and devotional attention from lay society, but on a whole, the two groups saw each other as parallel columns collectively carrying the roof of the Church. Indeed for religious women of the Middle Ages, the monasteries offered the main genuine possibility for a fully approved life in religious devotion, whereas the alternative of semi-regulated female beguinages were often looked upon with deep concern and mistrust by the Church.
For medieval lay society, the monasteries offered an additional place to hear sermons, to attend Divine Office, to found perpetual masses, altars and chapels and to choose burial places. Numerous medieval Danes engaged in special contacts with one or more monastic institutions, either as individuals, family members or confraternity members. Monasteries were situated all around society, in the big cities, in the smaller towns and in the countryside, which meant that virtually all Danish men, women and children would, no matter where they lived, see the monasteries and their inhabitants on a regular basis. Especially for the nobility and the bourgeoisie, most would even have family members living in the monasteries. For medieval people, religious devotion also had a physical and spatial side to it, and the monasteries were considered more sacred than any other place most people were likely to ever meet—the closest thing to Heaven you could hope to see in this life. In addition, an amicable relation to the people of the monasteries constituted the best chance for your soul to get through purgatory as quickly as possible. Furthermore, since a significant proportion of the arable land in medieval Denmark was owned by the monasteries, these institutions also played an important economic and juridical role in the lives of the numerous families working as tenants and labourers at the monastic estates.
This article provides a brief history of monasticism in medieval Denmark by presenting the number of houses and main characteristics of each monastic order in a chapter of its own one by one (for a map of all the monasteries, see Figure 1).2 As a consequence of the high number of houses and orders, the focus here has to remain on an overview basis, while deeper insight to specific houses, orders and thematic issues would have to be met elsewhere; references to such literature, especially the more recent ones, are provided.3 This brief and collective presentation does, however, hopefully give the reader a comprehensive understanding of both the scale and the pluralistic form and impact that monasticism had in medieval Denmark.

1. The Early Introduction of Monasticism in Denmark (before 1100)

It is unclear when Christianity first reached Denmark, but several of the initial missionary attempts were carried out by monks following the Rule of St Benedict. These include the Frisian apostle Willibrord, who may have Christianised the first Danes in Ribe in the early 8th century, while the missionary campaigns of Ansgar in the 820–850s had more lasting effect, leading to the constructions of the first Danish churches in Schleswig/Haithabu and Ribe. Since the late 10th century, Danish kings brought home with them priests and monks from their military campaigns in England. Although several of these first missionaries and royal chaplains may have been accompanied by fellow monks to Denmark, no actual monastic foundations appear to have existed here until the mid-11th century.
Several monastic houses have been suggested to take the prize as the first Danish monastery, but the true chronology for this earliest phase is not really possible to establish. The first written references to monasteries in Denmark are made by Adam of Bremen around 1075, and it would seem that a reorganisation of the Danish diocese structure around 1060 were accompanied by the establishing of a number of clerical communities to assist the bishops at the cathedrals and to help root Christianity around the dioceses. Some of these communities appear to have followed various sets of regulated life, which for some was short lived and for others developed into actual monasteries.
St Michael’s Abbey in Schleswig, Seem Abbey just outside Ribe, St Cnut’s Abbey in Odense and All Saints’ Abbey in Lund belong to this possible group of early Danish monasteries, most likely established by the local bishops in the 1070–1090s.4 All of them followed the Rule of St Benedict, the one in Ribe and perhaps also the one in Schleswig at first as ‘double monasteries’ with sections for both monks and nuns. Best information about these foundations is provided for Odense, where monks from Evesham, England, in 1095–1096 were called in to administer the saintly cult of King Cnut the Holy (+1086) and to form an actual cathedral chapter, the only (lasting) Benedictine example of its kind in medieval Denmark.
In addition, the cathedral chapters in Lund and Roskilde, both founded in the 1080s, at first appear to have been regulated, probably following variants of the ‘Aachen statutes’, and even if regular life was soon abandoned in both places, the cathedral monastery remained in Roskilde until the 13th century, from which the archaeological finds constitute the oldest physical remnants of monasticism in Denmark.5 When the initial dioceses of Lund and Dalby were merged in the late 1060s, the bishop—now seated in Lund—decided that the canons left behind in Dalby were to be reformed and regulated, but this does not seem to have been fully implemented until the early 12th century, when the canons submitted to the Rule of St Augustine.6

2. The Benedictines

From the abovementioned five Benedictine houses in Denmark (at least possibly) founded before 1100 already, the Benedictine Order enjoyed an extensive Danish expansion throughout the 12th century.7 Most knowledge about the foundations is preserved for the four male abbeys on the island of Sjælland (Zealand), which all took place in the 1130–1140s: Ringsted (1135),8 Næstved (=Skovkloster, 1135),9 Sorø (1142)10 and Esrum (1143–48).11 While the abbey in Ringsted was a royal project, aimed to administer a memoria cult for the ruling branch of the royal Danish dynasty, the ones in Sorø and Næstved were founded by rivalling magnate families, and the one in Esrum by the Archbishop of Lund. Less information is extant about another five Benedictine abbey foundations in Jylland (Jutland), probably contemporary to those on Sjælland: Veng, Glenstrup, Randers (moved to Essenbæk in 1179), Voer, and Vejerslev (moved to Alling around 1250).12 In addition, here was the possibly oldest of them in Veng founded on royal initiative, while the rest are most likely to have had local magnate founders. A final Danish priory of Benedictine monks was established in Halsted on Lolland. Since it is not explicitly evidenced in the written sources before 1305, it has traditionally been seen as an unusually late Benedictine foundation from the 1290s, but recent studies suggest that it was founded in 1150–1175 already.13
In addition to the fourteen male Benedictine houses founded in medieval Denmark, about a similar number of female Benedictine houses were established in the kingdom.14 In most cases, the exact year of foundation is unknown, but the oldest series appears to origin from around the mid-12th century, where Benedictine nunneries were established in major cities on the initiative of local bishops and cathedral canons: Ålborg, Odense (moved to Dalum c. 1200), Lund, and possibly Roskilde and the smaller town of Slangerup.15 In the second half of the century, the trend was followed in Ribe (1171) and Schleswig (c. 1192) in connection to a dissolution of the existing double monasteries.16 Outside the cities, a further ten Benedictine nunneries were established at unknown years in the period 1150–1250, two of them in Skåne (Scania): Bosjö and Börringe; and no less than eight in the northern and central parts of Jylland: Stubber, Gudum, Ring, Vissing, Sebber, Ørslev, Hundslund and Ø.17 Hardly anything is known about the founding phase of these rural, female Benedictine houses, but they were most likely initiated by local bishops, canons and magnates.
Along with the continued series of new Benedictine foundations in Denmark into at least the early 13th century, the order experienced an increasing Cistercian competition from the mid-12th century. Not only did still more new foundations go to the Cistercian Order rather than to the Benedictines, but several existing Benedictine houses in Denmark were converted to the Cistercian constitutions, each time, it seems, on episcopal orders and initiative. This happened to the abbeys in Esrum (1151–52), Sorø (1161) and Veng (1165–66), where ‘the black monks’ on each occasion were claimed to have practised a scandalous life and, thus, were in need of a disciplined reform. This allegedly also applied to the Benedictine double monasteries in Seem and Schleswig, which were dissolved in 1166–1170 and 1190–1191, respectively. While the nuns in each place continued as Benedictines in new nearby premises, the male convents were converted to Cistercian regulations and transferred over some distance to Løgum and Guldholm, respectively. In addition, the Cistercian nunneries in Roskilde and Slangerup may have started out as Benedictine houses, which, if so, ended in the 1170–1180s.18
Even if new and influential monastic orders kept coming to Denmark throughout the Middle Ages, it is worth stressing that the bulk of Benedictine monasteries remained alive and very well indeed, right until the time of the Reformation. Most of them possessed substantial landed estates, and several held high political influence in the diocese or even nationally; usually, at least one of the abbots from Ringsted, Næstved and Lund held a seat in the council of the realm. The abbeys in Odense and Næstved were especially known for a literary production, just as the cathedral monks in Odense exercised a huge influence on the liturgy of the diocese. Finally, the Benedictine Order should be acknowledged for having played an important role in the introduction of Romanesque architecture in Denmark.
In the beginning of the 13th century, the Archbishop of Lund tried to promote the formation of a Benedictine province for all the order’s houses in Denmark, with annual chapter meetings under supremacy of the abbot in Lund as ‘provincial father abbot’. It is unclear whether this organisational idea was ever truly implemented, but at least, the abbot in Lund still claimed his superior rank in 1497.19
Several Danish Benedictine abbeys—especially those in Lund, Schleswig, Voer and Odense—have been identified by later scholarship as Cluniac, based on various indications and references in the medieval sources. The truth is, however, that not one single Benedictine house in all of Scandinavia can be shown to have belonged to the Cluny Congregation in its full sense. This is not to say that there were no Benedictine attempts to reform houses in Denmark, as, for instance, a transcript of Pope Gregory IX’s reform statutes for the Benedictine Order of 1237 is preserved in a Danish manuscript from around 1300. In addition, the order’s late medieval reform movement of the Bursfelder Congregation reached Denmark, where a reformed monk from Cismar Abbey in Holstein visited several Danish abbeys around 1460, and even if none of them at first joined the congregation, the reform-minded ideas still flourished in houses such as Odense, Næstved, Gudum and Sebber in the 1480s—and Voer Abbey fully joined the Bursfelder Congregation in 1486–1488, as its sole Scandinavian member.20

3. The Cistercians

The introduction of the Cistercian Order in Denmark was not least promoted by Archbishop Eskil of Lund, who was a close friend of the order and of Bernard of Clairvaux personally.21 On Eskil’s initiative, the first Cistercian abbey in Denmark was founded within his archdiocese in Herrevad in 1144,22 and the Benedictine abbey that Eskil had founded around the same time in Esrum on Sjælland was soon after converted into a Cistercian house in 1151–1153, also at the archbishop’s will.23 Within the organisation of the Cistercian Order, these two initial Danish abbeys where direct ‘daughter houses’ of Cîteaux and Clairvaux, respectively, and they became ‘mother houses’ themselves for all subsequent foundations of the order in Denmark. When King Valdemar I came out victorious in a fight for the throne with two of his cousins in 1158, an exiled group of Cistercian monks from Sweden happened to be in Denmark, whom the king invited to instead establish an abbey in Vitskøl out of gratitude for his fortune.24 Another royal relative, Earl Buris, decided to found a Cistercian abbey in nearby Tvis in 1163.25 King Valdemar made a second Cistercian foundation in Holme on Fyn in 1172, this time along with the local bishop.26 In 1194 an abbey was founded in the northernmost part of Halland in Ås on the initiative of the Archbishop of Lund.27 Along this line of new monastic foundations, Cistercian history in Denmark is characterised by a parallel series of conversions of hitherto Benedictine houses: besides Esrum, this include Sorø (1161),28 Øm (based on Veng 1172),29 Løgum (based on Seem 1173)30 and Guldholm (based on Schleswig, 1191–1194, moved on to Rude in 1210),31 as well as the two only female Cistercian abbeys in Denmark: Roskilde Our Lady and Slangerup (1160–70s).32 All the Cistercian takeovers happened on local episcopal initiative.
Within a 50 year period, the Cistercian Order had acquired twelve abbeys in medieval Denmark. However, an additional number of Cistercian abbeys were established on (partly) Danish initiative outside the kingdom itself. When the Wendic island of Rügen had been subdued by Danish forces in 1168 and integrated into the diocese of Roskilde, the local Prince Jaromar I in 1193 decided to found a Cistercian nunnery on the island in the town of Bergen, with nuns from the abbey in Roskilde.33 Likewise, the Danish conquest of Tallinn in Estonia in 1219 was followed up by yet another foundation of a Cistercian nunnery in this city around 1249.34 Apparently, the foundation of Cistercian houses was, at least for a while, considered an integrated element of Danish crusade and missionary activity in the Baltic Region, as daughter houses of Esrum Abbey were established in Dargun (1172) and Colbaz (1174) in the newly conquered regions of Mecklenburg and Prussia, respectively.35 In 1296, Prince Wizlaw II of Rügen founded a second Cistercian abbey within his principality, this time for monks on the island of Hiddensee, which, unlike any of the Danish houses, belonged to the Morimond branch of the order.36 In 1305–1310, King Erik VI of Denmark allowed Cistercian monks from Daugavgrīva (Dünamunde) in Latvia to relocate in Padise in northwestern Estonia, since the Teutonic Order had taken over their former abbey.37 The final Cistercian house within the Danish realm was founded in Knardrup by King Christoffer II in 1326.38
The Cistercians in western Denmark made a habit out of creating poetic Latin names for their houses based on the original Danish place names. Vitskøl became Vitae schola (‘school of life’), Tvis Tuta vallis (‘safe valley’), Løgum Locus Dei (‘God’s place’), Holme Insula Dei (‘God’s island’) and Øm Cara insula (‘beloved island’); only in the two latter cases did the Latin names refer to the actual etymology of the Danish names, as both holm and ø do indeed mean ‘island’.39
While virtually all the Cistercian abbeys soon acquired significant landed estates based on donations from royalty, bishops and magnates, Sorø Abbey reached a level of extraordinary wealth, as it became ‘house monastery’ for the Hvide family, the most powerful magnate family in 12th and 13th century Denmark.40 Some sort of rivalry can be noted between Sorø and her ‘mother abbey’ in Esrum, who long held rank as the intellectual centre of the order in Denmark.
Unlike their Benedictine predecessors, the Cistercian monks in Denmark avoided urban locations, as all their male houses were situated in the rural landscape; all their female houses, however, were urban. An important part of Cistercian self-image and -presentation was that the monks not only saved souls but also indefatigably transformed the infertile desert into arable land. In 12th century Denmark, ‘infertile desert’ was still available in the shape of forested areas in hilly terrain, but the Danish Cistercians preferred to leave these lands for others to clear, as most of their received estates were already settled and had been cultivated for generations.41 Numerous peasant villages were dissolved by the abbeys and replaced by granges, from where the lands were cultivated by laybrothers. As laybrothers became increasingly difficult to recruit from the mid-13th century onwards, Cistercian estates gradually became more dependent on traditional peasant tenancy and even began to establish new villages.42
It has been suggested that the Cistercians introduced new agricultural technology and knowledge to Denmark, but apart from the organisational feature of the granges, actual evidence of this is scarce. It is evident, though, that the Cistercians brought in a hydrological knowhow that was unique for their time. While Cistercian abbeys throughout Europe are known for their ability to include running water in the monastic architecture, the monks were met by an extra challenge in the relatively flat, insular landscapes of Denmark, without any mountain streams or large inland waters. The Danish Cistercian abbeys, however, learned how to exploit the limited given possibilities by impressive systems of canals and accurately calculated differences in water levels of nearby lakes.43
An additional expertise beyond the norm can be ascribed to the monks of Øm Abbey, who by the end of the Middle Ages appear to have managed an extensive hospital at their abbey, where laypeople have received nursery treatment of long duration and rather complicated surgery.44

4. The Augustinians

The introduction in Denmark of monastic life according to the Rule of St Augustine appears to have happened as a gradual transition in the early 12th century, when several chapters of canons replaced existing regulations with those accredited to the ancient Bishop of Hippo.45 In none of the Danish cases is the exact year of transition recorded, but an initial series of ‘foundations’ of Augustinian convents of canons regular seems to have taken place around the same time in Dalby, Vestervig and Viborg, all with a possible beginning in the 1110–1120s or the early 1130s at the latest.46 Shortly after, probably in the mid-1130s, a fourth Augustinian priory was established on the small island of Eskilsø in the fiord outside Roskilde. On each occasion, initiative for introducing regulated canon life most likely came from the local bishops. It is interesting to note that apart from the case of Viborg, it was not the actual cathedral chapters, which were reformed, but nearby collegiate chapters of canons. The Bishops of Viborg must have had a special liking to Augustinians, because not only were they capable of introducing the regulated monastic life of St Augustine at their cathedral chapter, but an additional collegiate chapter of Augustinian canons was here too established within their diocese in Grinderslev in the 1170s.47 Furthermore, two Augustinian nunneries were founded by the bishops within and just outside Viborg (the latter in Asmild) around 1150 and 1170.48 Around 1175, it was decided to move the Augustinian priory on Eskilsø to one of its estates on ‘mainland’ Sjælland, Æbelholt, as it had proven logistically difficult to maintain modern monastic life on such a small and partly isolated island.49 As elsewhere in Europe, Augustinian monastic foundations in Denmark were predominantly a phenomenon of the 12th century, but a final latecomer was established in the late 1240s in Tvilum, also this time on episcopal initiative—although not from the local bishop.50 Bishop Gunner of Ribe had in vain tried to reform his own cathedral chapter of canons to the Rule of St Augustine, and after having resigned office, he decided to donate his paternal estate within the diocese of Århus for an Augustinian priory there.
The priory in Vestervig may partly have been formed to administer the cult of a local saint, Theodgar, whose remains were translated to the church in 1117.51 In 1188–1189, the Danish Augustinians obtained a local saint of their own, the Blessed Kjeld, who had been provost at the cathedral chapter in Viborg in the 1140s.52 In 1224, the former Abbot William of Æbelholt received the full papal sanctification for miracles reported to occur at his grave.53 The French William had been called in by the Bishop of Roskilde in 1165 to reform the priory on Eskilsø after the strict discipline of the Victorine congregation. He became one of the most influential Danish clergy of his time and was given the rank of abbot, unlike what was customary among Danish Augustinians.54
It is unclear if another Augustinian congregation of Windesheim obtained a full Danish member in Grinderslev, but the canons here had close contacts with the congregation. This is partly seen in an extant 15th-century manuscript, in which the canons of Grinderslev had translated a number of monastic masters from Latin into Danish—among them Thomas à Kempis.55 The Augustinian houses in Denmark constituted an organisational unity themselves, at least from the 13th to the mid-14th century, where several provincial chapters are known to have been held.
While the Augustinian canons in Vestervig, Viborg, Æbelholt and Dalby held relatively large and widespread estates of donated land, the rest of their houses only had smaller and locally based estates. In addition, the canons held the income of numerous parish churches, for which they administered the pastoral tasks. In the cases of Grinderslev and Asmild, the monastery churches also functioned as local parish churches. Æbelholt Abbey appears to have included a hospital offering medical treatment for outside visitors.
In 1440, the Augustinian cathedral chapter in Viborg was secularised. The dissolution of the male convent also meant the closing of the female monastery in Viborg, whose nuns were probably transferred to the nearby nunnery in Asmild. Likewise, the most monastically minded Viborg canons may have continued regular Augustinian life in Grinderslev or elsewhere in Denmark.

5. The Premonstratensians

The canons regular of the Premonstratensian Order, also following the Rule of St Augustine along with statutes set by the mother abbey in Prémontré, established five Danish convents around the mid-12th century: Lund St Saviour, Tommarp, Öved, Vä and Børglum.56 For all of them, the exact year of foundation is unknown, but most scholars agree that the ‘white canons’ were introduced in all five places within the period 1140–1170. Four of the convents were situated in Skåne, showing a special preference with Archbishop Eskil of Lund.57 The one in Børglum was also initiated by the local bishop, and here the canons were even to form the cathedral chapter.58 For unknown reasons, the abbey in Lund was dissolved around 1200 already, and its brethren most likely transferred to Öved. Vä Abbey was destroyed by fire in 1213, after which a new monastery was built in nearby Bäckaskog to replace it.59 A female Premonstratensian monastery was founded in the early 13th century in Vrejlev, located close to Børglum.60 References to Premonstratensian sisters at the abbeys in Tommarp and Öved during the 13th century suggest a possible (but then short-lived) function as double monasteries(Wallin 1989, pp. 63–64), which may as well have been intended in Vrejlev, where it is possible that the canons serving at Bøg–lum cathedral resided until after 1216 (Nyberg 2000, pp. 163–64, Kristensen 2013a, p. 13).
The Premonstratensian monasteries in Denmark were generally quite rich on landed estates, especially the one in Børglum, and they were moreover incorporated with usually 5–10 parish churches and hospital chapels, for which the canons administered the pastoral tasks.

6. The Dominicans (Friars Preachers, Blackfriars)

Only six years after its formation, the Dominican Order had its first Danish convent established in Lund in 1222.61 Within the next thirty years, Dominican convents were founded in basically every urban centre in Denmark of ecclesiastical importance: Ribe (1228), Roskilde (1231–34), Schleswig (1239), Viborg and Århus (both before 1246), Haderslev (1251), Odense (before 1252) and Åhus (before 1254);62 the only missing church centres were Børglum (which had no town) and Copenhagen. The main initiators behind these foundations were the bishops.63 A short-lived convent existed 1253–1261 in Vordingborg, the centre of Danish crusades into the Baltic Sea region, which Dominican friars promoted through preaching and the collection of vows, payments and redemptions.64 Then followed a later series of Dominican convents in market towns of regional importance—Halmstad (1250–60s), Næstved (1260s), Holbæk (1275), Helsingborg and Vejle (1325)—where the prime initiative was taken by local magnates and town councils, the latter to secure continued urban status and privileges.65 Finally, in 1441, a Dominican convent was founded as one of three mendicant houses in a grand-scale royal project to promote Helsingør as the new urban centre of the Kalmar Union.66 In addition to the male convents, two Dominican nunneries were founded in Roskilde (1263) and on Gavnø (1403).67 Within the Danish-governed provinces outside Denmark, a male Dominican convent was established in Tallinn (1229/46), which was included in the order’s Scandinavian province of Dacia.68
Especially in the 13th century, leading friars of the Dominican Order held high esteem in Denmark as experts on theology and foreign diplomacy.69 The friary schools were to some extent open to outside students, especially parish clergy and young people aimed for an ecclesiastical career.70 The outward pastoral orientation of the mendicant orders meant that their friary churches were located in urban centres or by city gates to become as visible and easily accessible as possible for lay visitors, who would come to the churches to hear sermons, attend masses and give confession.71 Although based in urban locations only, the Friars Preachers—in Danish also known as Sortebrødre (‘Blackfriars’)—were also very much present in the surrounding countryside, where all rural parish churches were likely to see a Dominican ‘guest preacher’ twice a year. In return, the friars performing these biannual rural campaigns of terminario brought home alms of money, food and other material goods to the convent.72 As mendicant friars, the Dominicans were not formally allowed to own any rent-giving property outside their own friaries, but virtually all Danish convents held some urban houses and meadows to support their livelihood.73 The convents in Vejle and Odense were unusually rich on such outside property, the former almost owning half of the urban houses, meadows and cabbage gardens in Vejle.74 This relaxation was encountered by an internal Observant reform within the order in the late 15th century, as part of which the convents in Schleswig, Haderslev, Ribe and Vejle, along with the Estonian convent in Tallinn, joined the reformed Dutch Congregation.

7. The Franciscans (Friars Minor, Greyfriars)

In terms of number of convents, the Franciscans became the largest monastic order in medieval Denmark, with a total of twenty-eight houses by the time of the Reformation.75 Most of them were founded in the 13th century: Ribe (1232), Schleswig (1234), Viborg (1235), Randers (1236), Svendborg (1236), Roskilde (1237), Copenhagen (1238), Tønder (1238), Lund (1238–39), Kalundborg (c.1240), Næstved (c.1242/1270), Ålborg (c.1250), Horsens (1261), Flensburg (1263), Trelleborg (1267), Ystad (1267), Odense (1279), Nysted (1286) and Kolding (1288).76 While four of them had bishops and canons secular as their main initiators, the bulk was founded by noble magnates; Countess Ingerd von Regenstein especially stands out with no less than five foundations! An additional series of new houses came in the 15th century: Nykøbing (1419), Malmö (1419), Helsingør (1420), Køge (1484), Torkö (c.1489) and Husum (1494);77 all these late medieval houses were established on royal (or ducal) initiative. Moreover, three female Franciscan or ‘Clarissan’ convents were founded in Denmark: Roskilde (1256), Copenhagen (1497) and Odense (1522).78
Due to their higher number of convents, the Friars Minor or Gråbrødre (‘Greyfriars’), as they were also known in Danish, were more commonly based in the smaller towns than were the Dominicans, but it is otherwise quite difficult to identify any systematic differences in their activities in Denmark. The convents of both orders were highly focused on the rural terminario campaigns with a combination of preaching and collection of alms,79 and in spite of scholarly attempts to claim particular connections to certain groups in society (including a claim for a female preference for the Franciscans), actual analyses of recorded donations show almost identical patterns between them. In both cases, the main donors were found among the higher clergy and the nobility, whereas the often-claimed dependence on urban bourgeoisie is hard to see for any of them.80
Just like the Dominicans, the Franciscan convents in Scandinavia were organised in a semi-autonomous province by the name of Dacia. After the de facto formation of the Kalmar Union in 1389, national tensions began to emerge between the Danish convents and the Swedish–Norwegian convents, as the latter—probably rightfully—complained that the Danes controlled the province unfairly.81 When the Franciscan Observance began to spread in the second half of the 15th century, almost all the Danish convents were eventually reformed, while the others in Dacia remained conventual—and thereby freed themselves somewhat for the Danish influence.82 Four of the Franciscan convents in Denmark were even established as Observant houses: the two male ones in Køge and Husum and the two female ones in Copenhagen and Odense. Unlike the conventual Clares in Roskilde, who owned extensive estates all around Sjælland, the Poor Clares in Copenhagen and Odense were not allowed this type of income, and the two Observant nunneries soon experienced grave financial difficulties—especially as the Reformation began to kick in.83

8. The Carmelites (Whitefriars)

As the third and final mendicant order represented in medieval Scandinavia, the ‘Whitefriars’ of the Carmelite Order were introduced to Denmark in the early 15th century.84 This seems to have happened on the initiative of King Erik VII ‘the Pomeranian’ (r.1396–1439), who chose some rather remote coastal locations for the first Carmelite convents, where he had plans for future urban sea ports: Landskrona (1410), Skælskør (1418–23) and Helsingør (1430).85 Especially for the latter, the urban project did in fact develop into an actual city, as the only Scandinavian city with all three mendicant orders represented. Eventually, more Carmelite convent foundations followed in Sæby (1469), Varberg (c.1470), Århus (c.1480), Sölvesborg (c.1485) and Assens (c.1500).86 All eight Carmelite convents in Denmark were male, and they all had churches dedicated to the patron saint of the order: the Holy Virgin Mary. In 1462, it was decided to segregate the then four Scandinavian convents—three Danish and one Swedish—into a province of their own called Dacia. Even though the convent in Landskrona formally maintained a superior rank due to its seniority, the convent in Helsingør appears to have been the actual power centre of the province. Unlike the two major mendicant orders, the Carmelites in Denmark do not appear to have been involved with rural terminario; several of the friaries administered hospitals for people outside the order; and Carmelite theologians played a significant role at the University of Copenhagen founded in 1479.

9. The Hospitallers of St John

The Hospitallers of St John is the only military order of the Middle Ages present in Scandinavia.87 Although devoted to the crusade to the Holy Land and the care for pilgrims going there, King Valdemar I and Archbishop Eskil of Lund invited the order to settle in Denmark in the 1160s, possibly as support for the increasing Danish crusade efforts in the Baltic Sea region. Some Knights Hospitaller may in fact have taken part in the Danish conquest of Rügen in 1168, and it is noteworthy that the Danish flag, which according to legend dropped from the sky during a battle in Estonia in 1219, is identical to the war banner of the Hospitallers. Apart from that, only the clerical and caritative branches of the order are known to be present at the monasteries in Denmark. The Danish mother abbey of the Hospitallers was founded in Antvorskov in the mid-1160s, to be followed by monasteries in Viborg (1280s), Odense (1280–1311), Dueholm (c. 1370), Horsens (1360–1390) and Ribe (15th century).88 In most cases, it is difficult to find even approximate years for the time of these foundations, partly due to lack of sources and partly because several houses started out as commanderies before gradually increasing to the full rank of priory or abbey. Such a commandery under Antvorskov was established in Maschenholt on the island of Rügen in the early 15th century, which became a priory of its own in 1435.89 Another commandery was established from Antvorskov in Nyborg in 1441, where the monks resided in a fine stone-built house, had their own cemetery and administered landed estates of their own—but never gained full rank as priory.
All the order’s monasteries and churches in Denmark were dedicated to St John the Baptist. In later Danish literature, the members of the order are termed johanniter, but in contemporary sources, they were called korsbrødre (‘Brethren of the Cross’). The overall purpose of the Hospitallers of St John in Denmark was to collect money for the military campaigns of order, which each year was sent to the headquarters. The income was mainly generated from huge estates around Denmark donated by the nobility, either as support for the crusade or in return for perpetual masses and burial places. Furthermore, many Danish nobles—male and female—chose to live at the monasteries, either as nominal ‘monks’ and ‘sisters’ or as paying guests. In addition, the monasteries administered various types of hospitals. Based on this, especially Antvorskov Abbey became extremely wealthy, the second-largest monastic landowner in medieval Denmark, and its abbots held seat in the national council with rank just below the Bishop of Roskilde. The main tasks of the Hospitaller monks were to preach in favour of the crusade, pray for the souls of the patrons and benefactors, perform pastoral services in the monastery church and in parish churches administered by the monastery and act as confessional fathers for the lay residents.

10. The Hospitallers of St Anthony

The Hospitallers of St Anthony or ‘Antonines’ were established in Denmark in 1391, when the order’s monastery in Tempzin, Mecklenburg, bought a demesne Mohrkirch in the duchy of Schleswig and turned it into a daughter house. From Mohrkirch, a second Danish monastery was made in Præstø in 1470.90 While the latter was founded by King Christian I, the former was initiated by the order itself. The Hospitallers of St Anthony was a caritative order devoted to the treatment and care of people suffering from various diseases, but there is no evidence that any of the two Danish houses ever engaged with such caritative work. The Antonines also offered lay people a popular confraternity with their order, which may have been seen as a ‘spiritual insurance’ against all such diseases, including plague, and in return, the monks received donations of money and land. The main income in Denmark did, however, come from their immense terminario activity, i.e., preaching and questing in the countryside, which fully equalled that of the Dominicans and Franciscans. Monks from Mohrkirch at first toured the entire Danish kingdom, and the monastery in Præstø was primarily made to help cover the regions of Sjælland and Skåne. A special Antonine feature was their pigs, which wore bells and enjoyed special privileges in terms of roaming and feeding in the local community, before they were brought home and slaughtered by the monks.

11. The Hospitallers of the Holy Ghost

Hospitals of the Holy Ghost (Da. helligåndshuse) were a common feature in numerous Danish towns since the mid-13th century, established by magistrates or pious burghers to take care of poor, old and sick people.91 In the period 1451–1485, six of these urban hospitals were admitted into the monastic order of Hospitallers of the Holy Ghost, not least on the initiative of King Christian I (r. 1448–1481): Ålborg (1451), Copenhagen (1469), Nakskov (1470), Fåborg (1478), Malmö (1474–80) and Randers (1485).92 By converting the hitherto secular hospitals into monasteries, the authorities partly addressed a growing concern about the spiritual health of the poor, but it also attracted a new line of income, as the monastic hospitals in addition to the caritative personnel (male and female) also included priests, who offered perpetual masses and letters of indulgence in return for donations. The order was also qualified to receive foundlings, an increasing problem in especially Copenhagen. Just like the mendicant orders and the Antonines, the Hospitallers of the Holy Ghost were allowed to send out ‘questors’ to collect alms, but unlike the former, this was not accompanied by preaching. The monastery in Ålborg was furthermore incorporated with a couple of parish churches in Vendsyssel, for which the monks received the tithe, but they allegedly neglected to provide the churches with priests, which led the parishioners to call in Dominican and Franciscan preachers instead.

12. The Bridgettines

The Bridgettine Order is the only monastic order to originate from medieval Scandinavia.93 Around 1400, Queen Margrethe I of Denmark–Norway–Sweden grew extremely fond of the new order, as she and her successors decided to promote its founder St Bridget as patroness saint for the Kalmar Union. From the mother abbey in Vadstena, Sweden, monks were sent to Denmark in 1416 to found a monastery on the island of Lolland, which was given the name Maribo (‘Mary’s home’).94 While Maribo Abbey initially was a royal project, it soon received plenty support from both bishops and nobles. In the 1440s, a second abbey, named Mariager (‘Mary’s field’), was founded in Jylland on the sole initiative of the local bishop and nobility.95 The latter foundation was partly based on a failed Carthusian project in the area,96 and while the existing orders at first welcomed St Bridget and her followers, their feelings soon cooled off as they began to realise that the Bridgettines had become the new monastic darlings of the elite. Not only did the Bridgettine success of re-introducing double monasteries for both men and women put an almost complete stop to new foundations of any other female monasteries, the mendicant orders especially also saw how the newcomers attracted a huge bite of all future donations, mass foundations, lay burials, rural terminario questing and the growing sale of indulgence; even the mendicant role as chief theologians of the Church was now challenged by the Bridgettines and their almost insatiable thirst for qualified theological literature.
Based on this favourable attention from both lay and ecclesiastical donors, the Bridgettine abbeys developed extensive estates, which easily equalled the wealthiest monasteries of the old orders. The pivotal point of Bridgettine monasticism, both in terms of income and religious life, was, however, St Bridget herself. She became the perhaps single-most popular saint in late medieval Scandinavia, and pilgrims by the thousands sought not only her grave in Vadstena but also her distributed relics in, for instance, the Danish abbeys. An important task for the Bridgettines was therefore to serve this extensive and continuous pilgrimage to their churches. A specific feature characterising several of the Bridgettine abbeys in Scandinavia, including the mother abbey in Vadstena, is that while no urban community existed at the place of the abbey beforehand, the foundations were immediately followed by royal privileges for the formation of an adjacent town, primarily aimed at facilitating visiting pilgrims with accommodation, food, clothes and other supplies, as well as treatment for diseases. Such towns also emerged in both Maribo and Mariager, and since they were fully owned by the abbeys, this generated an additional income for the order.97
In the former Danish-ruled province of Estonia, initiative was taken in 1407 already by local merchants to found a Bridgettine abbey just outside Tallinn. The first nuns arrived in 1412, the construction of Pirita Abbey was begun in 1417 and it was consecrated in 1436. It was supported by the Teutonic Order, local burghers and nobility, and it became one of the wealthiest monasteries in Livonia, with the largest church in medieval Estonia.98

13. The Reformation and the Dissolution of Monasticism

When the last monastery was founded in medieval Denmark in 1522 (Odense St Clare), the age of monasticism had in fact already ended with the death of Dowager Queen Christine the year before.99 Neither her son King Christian II (r. 1513–1523) nor his successor Frederik I (r. 1523–1533) showed any favourable concern for the monasteries. On the contrary, since the early 1520s, all the landowning monasteries in Denmark were increasingly treated as financial ‘milking cows’, continuously enjoined by the kings to cover various military and courtly expenses, even by accommodating horses and troops for the cavalry. While the mendicant orders held no landed fortunes to be milked, the friars since the mid-1520s had to engage with an increasing hostility from Evangelical preachers, mainly of Lutheran conviction, who successfully presented the friars as the incarnation of all the evils of the Catholic church. The mendicant orders were themselves divided by a reform-minded faction among especially the Carmelites, inspired by Erasmus of Rotterdam, and a more conservative faction of Dominicans and the majority of the Franciscans. While many of the reform-minded mendicants ended up becoming leading Evangelical preachers themselves, the conservative mendicants became the spearhead of the Catholic defence in terms of combative sermons and theological writs—and even took part in some of the bishops’ attempt to put an end to the turmoil with an inquisition-like trial in Malmö during the interregnum after King Frederik’s death in 1533. The convictions of the trial only sparked a complete mayhem with the war of Grevens Fejde (‘The Count’s Feud’) 1534–1536, which the Catholic church was bound to lose, as none of the involved pretenders for the Danish throne were Catholic.
Being in the centre of the theological dispute, the mendicant friaries were the first to fall when the monastic dissolution began to set in. It started in the duchy of Schleswig, where Duke Christian—the later King Christian III—had openly converted to Lutheranism in 1525–1526. The Dominican friars in Haderslev were expelled as the first in 1527, and by 1530, all six mendicant friaries in the duchy had been dissolved. The flood of mendicant dissolution spread to the actual kingdom, where twenty-five friaries were closed in the years 1529–1532. The subsequent war actual brought a pause to the monastic closings, and eighteen friaries of all three orders were still around when the war ended in 1536; Helsingør and the cathedral cities of Ribe, Odense, Roskilde and Lund especially had proven themselves as Catholic strongholds.
When the new King Christian III introduced Lutheran Evangelism to the entire kingdom in 1536–1537, it included a complete prohibition against mendicant presence in Denmark henceforth. The monasteries of the remaining orders were allowed to continue in an Evangelical form and under royal administration, which actually only meant that the financial draining of their manorial wealth continued at increased speed. Some of the larger male abbeys were for a while attempted to be converted into schools for Evangelical priests. As economic means and convent members began to die out, the monasteries closed one by one and were either turned in to royal or private manors, parish churches, urban hospitals and schools, or simply torn down. Depending on how to determine the final termination of a convent, the last medieval Danish monasteries were dissolved in the 1580s.
Further south on the island of Rügen, which was still a part of the diocese of Roskilde, the Cistercian abbey in Hiddensee had been attacked by a Protestant mob from Stralsund in 1529, and it was dissolved along with the Hospitallers of St John in Maschenholt in 1534, when it was decided that all of Pomerania was to be Evangelical henceforth. At the same time Rügen was segregated from the Bishop of Roskilde and incorporated in the diocese of Stralsund instead. The Cistercian nunnery in Bergen was allowed to continue as a Catholic institution until 1569, when it was converted into a Protestation aristocratic nunnery.
Lutheran Evangelism had reached Livonia and Estonia in 1519–1520 already, and here too, local Dominicans soon became the main defenders of the old belief. This only led to increased conflicts with the Evangelicals, who had a strong influence on the city council, who decided to prohibit the friars from preaching in 1524 and ordered the dissolution of the convent the following year. The Cistercian nuns in Tallinn on their part managed to endure the first Lutheran storm as they had strong family connections to the generally anti-Evangelical nobility living outside the city. It was not until 1545 that the nuns were enforced to engage a Lutheran priest for their services, and the nunnery was finally dissolved by the Swedes in 1631. The male Cistercian Padise Abbey was dissolved by the Livonian Order in 1559, mainly out of fear that it would be used as military stronghold by either the Swedes or the Russians. Finally, the Bridgettine Pirita Abbey was allowed to continue until the mid-1570s, when it was destroyed by Russian troops.

14. Epilogue

By the end of the 16th century, the Danish church province had seen the coming and going of about 140 individual monasteries representing twelve different monastic orders within a period of 500 years. In the Protestant aftermath of the Reformation, medieval monasticism was often portrayed as a parasitic and increasingly depraved institution, visualising all the errors of the medieval Catholic Church. In Denmark, such a view has to some degree been rooted in historical scholarship way into the 20th century, where monasticism until recently was commonly treated as a curious sidekick to Christianity in medieval society, failing to fully comprehend its interaction with people living outside the monastery walls. However, for half a millennium, monasteries were just as integrated parts of life and society for all Danes as schools and hospitals are today. Even for those of us who do not attend these institutions in daily life, they are hard to imagine not being there. If we want to improve our understanding of medieval life and society in a country such as Denmark on a general basis, we need to acknowledge the profound role of Christianity for all people in the Middle Ages—and that the monasteries, with all their nuances given by the different monastic orders, played a significant part of this.


This research received no external funding.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


In addition to present-day Denmark, the medieval Danish church province also included the diocese of Lund (Skåne, Halland and Blekinge), the diocese of Schleswig, the diocese of Tallinn (northern Estonia) and the island of Rügen (as part of the diocese of Roskilde). The exact number of monasteries may vary in literature according to different terms on how to define a religious community as an actual monastery.
The Carthusian Order was represented in Denmark with two very short-lived monasteries in Asserbo (1160s) and Glenstrup (1430s), which has not qualified for a chapter in this presentation.
For the basic overall works to monasticism and monasteries in medieval Denmark, see Daugaard (1830); Lorenzen (1912–1941); Jørgensen and Thomsen (2004); Kristensen (2013a). Short lexicographical articles with up-to-date overviews of the history and archaeology of each individual monastery are currently being published in Trap Danmark 6th edition. For the included regions outside present-day Denmark, see also Auge and Hillebrand (2019) (Schleswig); Hoogeweg (1924–1925) (Rügen); Cinthio (1989) (Skåne); Tamm (2002) (Estonia).
For a general introduction and discussion to the earliest monasticism in medieval Denmark, see Nyberg (2000). On the individual early monasteries, see also Radtke and Hillebrand (2019) (Schleswig); Hill and Magnussen (2019) (Seem); King (1966) and Nyberg (1986) (Odense); Andersen (2002) (Lund).
For the most recent introductions to Benedictine history in medieval Scandinavia (including Denmark), see (Nyberg 2006; Kelly 2006; Jakobsen forthcoming-a).
Mehlsen (1919) (Randers); Kerff (1919) (Voer); Nyberg (2000), pp. 109–13 (Veng), 204 (Glenstrup), pp. 113–15 (Randers), 194 (Voer).
For a comprehensive introduction to female Benedictine monasticism in Denmark, see (Langkilde 1987).
Of these, only the nunnery in Ålborg has received the attention of a comprehensive article: (Olesen 1978).
Greinert and Lafrenz (2019) (Schleswig).
Of these, some have received the attention of a monograph or a comprehensive article: Christensen (1911) (Stubber); Christensen (1913) (Gudum); Ingvordsen (1991) (Ring); Møller (1937) (Sebber); Langballe and Olsen (1975) og Olsen (1975) (Ørslev); Andersen (2006) (Hundslund).
The main works on the history of the Cistercian Order in medieval Scandinavia and Denmark are (McGuire 1982; France 1992). In addition, a multitude of monographs, anthologies and articles exist for individual Cistercian abbeys.
In addition to McGuire and France, see (Rosenberg 1988).
The literature on Esrum Abbey is exhaustive. See, for instance, the anthologies by (Frandsen et al. 1997; Jørgensen and Thomsen 2015).
Also the literature on Øm Abbey is exhaustive. See, for instance, (McGuire 1976; Gregersen and Jensen 2003; Kristensen 2020a).
Hill (1992), pp. 158–60 (Slangerup) and pp. 277–86 (Roskilde); McGuire (2005).
Hoogeweg (1924–1925), vol. 1, pp. 223–309; Jensen (2011), pp. 223–26; Reimann (2016) (Dargun).
A basic work on the history of the Augustinian Order in medieval Denmark still awaits to be written. For the foundation of the monasteries, see Nyberg (2000). A recent, comprehensive anthology on Dalby Priory (Borgehammar and Wienberg 2012) also provides a lot of general information on the order.
In addition to (Nyberg 2000), see Borgehammar and Wienberg (2012) (Dalby); Jakobsen (2016a) (Vestervig)).
A basic work on the history of the Premonstratensian Order in medieval Denmark still awaits to be written. For overview introductions, see (Wallin 1989; Nyberg 2000).
In addition to Wallin (1989) and Nyberg (2000), see Wallin (1955–2000) (Tommarp).
The main works on Dominican history in medieval Denmark are (Gallén 1946; Jakobsen 2008).
In addition to (Gallén 1946; Jakobsen 2008), see for some of the individual convents Blomqvist (1944); Jakobsen (2011), pp. 9–15 (Lund); Græbe (1978) (Ribe); Jakobsen (2006) (Roskilde); Rathjen and Siegloff (2019) (Schleswig); Høegsberg (2004) (Viborg); Søvsø (2011) (Århus); Jakobsen (2017a) (Haderslev); Becher (1999) (Odense)).
Nilsson (1968), pp. 110–40 (Halmstad); Hansen (1996), pp. 121–33 (Næstved); Græbe (1993) (Holbæk); Bååth (1933), pp. 308–18 et passim (Helsingborg); Jakobsen (2021b) (Vejle).
Jexlev (1977) and Hill (1995) (Roskilde); Jensen (1902) (Gavnø)).
The main works on Franciscan history in medieval Denmark are (Lindbæk 1914; Rasmussen 2002). On the friary architecture, see also (Larsen 2018).
In addition to (Lindbæk 1914; Rasmussen 2002), see for some of the individual convents Kieffer-Olsen (1996) (Ribe); Ommen and Lafrenz (2019) (Schleswig); Hjermind (2013); Kristensen (2020b) (Viborg); Kristensen (1994) (Svendborg); Eigenbrod and Madsen (2019) (Tønder); Rasmussen (1992a) (Kalundborg); Hansen (1996), pp. 117–21 (Næstved); Møller (2000) (Ålborg); Kristensen (2016) (Horsens); Rasmussen (1984); Kraack (2019) (Flensburg); Rasmussen (1992b); Ohlsson and Ohlsson (2017) (Ystad); Larsen (2013) (Odense).
Skov (1962) (Nykøbing); Magnussen and Siemers (2019) (Husum).
(Jexlev 1977; Hill 1995 (Roskilde)).
A basic work on the history of the Carmelite Order in Denmark still awaits to be written. Introductions in overview articles are provided by (Mesters 1956; Dahlerup 1963; Jørgensen 1979).
In addition to the overview works, see for some of the individual convents Jørgensen (1979); Wandel (2003) (Helsingør); Koch and Lynnerup (2003) (Skælskør).
Jørgensen (1978); Gregersen (1982) (Sæby); Forsström (1973) (Varberg); Haugsted (1931); Kristensen (2008) (Århus); Fjellander (1951) (Sölvesborg)).
The main works on the history of the Hospitallers of St John in medieval Denmark are (Reitzel-Nielsen 1984–1988; Carlsson 2008).
In addition to (Reitzel-Nielsen 1984–1988; Carlsson 2008), see for some of the individual convents Bernholm (1942) (Antvorskov); Hjermind (2013) (Viborg); Michaelsen (2008) (Odense); Dahlsgaard (1932); Vegger (1996) (Dueholm).
A basic work on the history of the Hospitallers of St Anthony in Denmark still awaits to be written. Introductions in overview articles to each of the monasteries are provided by Neustadt (2019) (Mohrkirch) and Rørdam (1893) (Præstø).
The main work on the history of the Hospitallers of the Holy Ghost in Denmark is (Lindbæk and Stemann 1906).
In addition to (Lindbæk and Stemann 1906), see for some of the individual convents Kock (1996); Møller (2016) (Ålborg); Christensen and Jensen (1934–1935) (Copenhagen); Bondesen (1994); Kirk (2003) (Randers).
There are multiple works on the history of the Bridgettine Order in Scandinavia. The most recent overview of the individual monasteries in Scandinavia and their related literature is provided by (Nyberg 1991; Sander-Olsen et al. 2013).
The Reformation in Denmark seen from a monastic perspective has recently been covered by (Seesko et al. 2019; Kristensen 2019).


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Figure 1. Location of monasteries in the Danish church province in the Middle Ages (the diocese of Tallinn, Estonia, not included). Map by author.
Figure 1. Location of monasteries in the Danish church province in the Middle Ages (the diocese of Tallinn, Estonia, not included). Map by author.
Religions 12 00469 g001
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Jakobsen, J.G.G. A Brief History of Medieval Monasticism in Denmark (with Schleswig, Rügen and Estonia). Religions 2021, 12, 469.

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Jakobsen JGG. A Brief History of Medieval Monasticism in Denmark (with Schleswig, Rügen and Estonia). Religions. 2021; 12(7):469.

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Jakobsen, Johnny Grandjean Gøgsig. 2021. "A Brief History of Medieval Monasticism in Denmark (with Schleswig, Rügen and Estonia)" Religions 12, no. 7: 469.

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