Nonneseter Abbey, Oslo

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Nonneseter Abbey, Oslo (Nonneseter kloster i Oslo) was a Benedictine nunnery located in Oslo, Norway.

History[edit]

Nonneseter Abbey is mentioned for the first time in 1161, but was founded before that, possibly by as much as several decades previously. It was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The community quickly became wealthy under the leadership of influential abbesses from some of the country's highest-born families. Perhaps for this reason the fate of the nunnery under the Reformation was less harsh than that of many other monastic communities, in that it seems that the nuns were allowed to remain in residence for several decades, perhaps until the end of the 16th century. However, the abbey estates passed into other hands in 1547, from which time the buildings began to decay, and in 1616 the walls of the former abbey church were used as a quarry for building stone for the new town hall.

Site and buildings[edit]

The site of the abbey, and any remains, are apparently under the buildings at Schweigaardsgate 55 and Grønlandsleiret 73.

There are no visible remains. When Schweigaardsgate was re-developed in 1879, the corner of a building in worked stone was discovered, which was believed to be the south-west corner of the abbey church. Large portions of the rest of the church's remains may well have been destroyed during the construction of Schweigaardsgate 50 in 1887. Various other finds of stonework and skeletons in the area doubtless indicate possible sites of other remains.

Literary reference[edit]

The abbey is perhaps best known as the place where the novelist Sigrid Undset set her character the young Kristin Lavransdatter in the first volume, "Kransen", of the eponymous trilogy.

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  • Bull, E. (1922): Kristianias historie, vol. 1: Oslos historie. Kristiania.
  • Fischer, G. (1950): Oslo under Eikaberg, pp. 131–132. Oslo

Coordinates: 59°54′31″N 10°46′05″E / 59.90861°N 10.76806°E / 59.90861; 10.76806