Christen Munk

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Christen Munk (1520 – July 5, 1579) was a Danish seignor and county governor that served in Norway.

In 1548, Munk became a member of the court in Copenhagen, and he participated in Princess Anna's travel entourage when she married in Saxony that year. In 1549 he became a seignor in Hamar and eventually acquired the properties of a number of monasteries that had become royal property after the Reformation. In 1556, he became the Statholder of Norway and seignor of Akershus, a position he held until 1572.[1][2] This statutory position was a precursor to the stewardship that was created and existed with some disruptions until 1814.

The former water tower at Akershus Fortress, which Munk had rebuilt into a cannon and gate tower in 1559

During the 1560s, Munk he ruled over Hamar County (i.e., len) and Akershus County while residing at Akershus Fortress. In addition, he controlled a number of other smaller territories for a shorter or longer period, among them Bratsberg and Gimsøy Abbey, Tønsberg County, and Sunnmøre County.[1]

In 1567, Swedish troops moved against Akershus fortress during the Northern Seven Years' War and, in response to this threat, Munk also allowed Oslo to burn to prevent the Swedes from gaining a foothold in the city.[3][4] A shortage of artillery and supplies caused the Swedes to withdraw after eight days. A few years later, Munk retaliated by sending troops into Värmland, Dalsland, and Västergötland in Sweden on raiding and plundering missions.[5]

In 1572 Munk moved to Jutland, where he died in Aakjær seven years later.[1][2]

At Akershus Fortress, both Munk Pond (Munkedammen) and the Munk Tower (Munketårnet) are named after him. The Munk Tower was the medieval fortress's water tower, which he converted into a cannon and gate tower in 1559.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Bricka, Carl Frederik (1897). Dansk biografisk Lexikon, vol. 11. Copenhagen: Gyldendalske Boghandels Forlag. p. 514. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Christen Munk". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Stagg, Frank Noel (1956). East Norway and Its Frontier: A History of Oslo and Its Uplands. London: Allen & Unwin. p. 103.
  4. ^ Hellerud, Synnøve Veinan; Messel, Jan (2000). Oslo, a Thousand-Year History. Oslo: Aschehoug. p. 74.
  5. ^ Rian, Øystein. "Christen Munk". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  6. ^ Grøthe, Johnny (2016). "Munketårnet på Akershus festning". Den norske tannlegeforenings Tidende. Retrieved June 4, 2018.