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Fjord Norway Ryfylke Rennesøy

The Utstein Monastery

  • Mosterøyveien 801, Rennesøy
  • 51 72 00 50
  •  /  km From You
Overview

Utstein Monastery is mentioned in historical records going back to the 9th century, when it was cited as King Harald Fairhair´s garrison after the battle of Hafrsfjord, where Norway was unified under one monarch. Construction of the Monastery started in about 1260, although some parts may be older and may date from an earlier royal farm on the site. The church is unique in Norway, with its tower situated centrally between chancel and nave.

Utstein Monastery is mentioned in historical records going back to the 9th century, when it was cited as King Harald Fairhair´s garrison after the battle of Hafrsfjord, where Norway was unified under one monarch. Construction of the Monastery started in about 1260, although some parts may be older and may date from an earlier royal farm on the site. The church is unique in Norway, with its tower situated centrally between chancel and nave.

Strict life for the monks
The Augustinian monks lived a pious life here. Discipline was strict, with regular prayers, scripture readings, and services. The monastery is believed to have housed 12 monks, but with a significant number of servants who looked after the farm, who did the building work and prepared the food. The monastery owned considerable land and was wealthy enough to support 250 people year-round.

New life for the monastery
After the reformation the monastery was not in use for long periods and fell into disrepair. When Christopher Garmann moved here in 1750, the buildings were refurbished, though sometimes in a very different form. The monastery was used as a farmhouse for the surrounding fields until the early 1930s. Restoration of the chancel and tower of the church dates from about 1900, while the rest of the monastery was renovated in the 1950s -  60s. Today, the monastery is run as a museum and course and conference centre, and is offered for private functions and as a concert venue. Much of the monastery is open to the public during museum hours.


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  • Source: Region Stavanger
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