Tautra Abbey

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Tautra Abbey (Norwegian: Tautra Mariakloster) was a monastery of Cistercian monks founded in the 13th century on the island of Tautra in the Trondheimsfjord in Norway. That abbey flourished and lasted until the 16th century, when it was closed as part of the acceptance of the Protestant Reformation by the United Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway. At the end of the 20th century, a community of Trappistine nuns formed a new monastery. The island is part of the municipality of Frosta in Nord-Trøndelag county, Norway.

Ruins of the nave and the portal of the original abbey in the west front
Transitional building of the new monastery, housing a chapel and guest house
New church building by Jensen & Skodvin Architects
Interior of the new church by Jensen & Skodvin Architects


In 1207, the Cistercian monastery of Tautra or Tuterøkloster was founded here. It was founded by monks from Lyse Abbey near Bergen. The site was an attractive one, and the earlier foundation of Munkeby Abbey seems to have been transferred here shortly after the foundation of this house. The abbey grew wealthy and powerful, and its abbots often played a major part in Norwegian politics.

Tautra Abbey was dissolved during the Reformation in Scandinavia in 1537, its lands were passed to the Crown, but the sizeable ruins of the church are still to be seen.[1]

Modern monastery[edit]

The present Tautra Monastery (Norwegian: Tautra Mariakloster) is a newly founded Trappistine community, and it is the first permanent Cistercian settlement in Norway since the Reformation. It was founded in 1999, near the ruins of the medieval monastery,[2] as a foundation of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, located near Dubuque, Iowa in the United States. The foundation stone was laid by Queen Sonja of Norway on 23 May 2003. The new monastery was granted general autonomy on 26 May 2006.

The Trappistine nuns who established the monastery hope to be a point of contact and exchange between the Norwegian tradition and Cistercian spirituality.

On 25 March 2012, the status of the monastery was raised to that of Major Priory in the Cistercian Order. The following day, an election was held in which the founding prioress, Mother Rosemary Duncar, O.C.S.O., a native of the United States, was succeedeed by Sister Gilkrist Lavigne, O.C.S.O., a Canadian-American, who is now a citizen of Norway.[3]

A community of Cistercians monks is in the process of being established nearby, near the former Munkeby Abbey, the first foundation of the Order in what is now Norway. The monk in residence serves as chaplain to the nuns. The new monastery will the first new foundation by the motherhouse of the Order, the Abbey of Cîteaux, since the 13th century.[4]


  1. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Tautra" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2011-05-19. 
  2. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Cistercienserordenen" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2011-05-19. 
  3. ^ Tautra Monastery
  4. ^ Munkeby Monastery Norway

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 63°34′30″N 10°36′20″E / 63.5749°N 10.6055°E / 63.5749; 10.6055