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Utstein Kloster

Utstein Kloster or the Utstein Abbey, is a medieval monastery that is extremely well-preserved. It is the best preserved building of its kind in all of Norway. It is located in Rogaland county on the Mosteroy island. 

The abbey was established in its current location when King Magnus VI was in power from 1263 through 1280. It was a house for Augustinian canons. However, it appears that the community was the one that was formerly established as the St. Olav’s Abbey, which was one of the earliest monasteries in the country, and possibly the earliest. 

There were about 20 or 30 monks who lived there during its height. There were at least twice as many people who worked on the building, and took care of the farming and the cooking. There was a lot of land that was owned by the abbey and about 250 people a year could be fed from the land that it owned. During the time of the reformation the monastery was dissolved and then given to Trond Ivarsson as a fee. Ivarsson was a nobleman and the local bailiff. For many years the abbey was a private residence. The Garmann took control in the year 1706. It was taken over by the state in the year 1899. 

Utstein Kloster was renovated from 1900 through 1904. The restoration was completed based on plans made by Gerhard Fischer. The ceiling was rebuilt using the original angles, the west window of the church was rebuilt, and the interior has been restored so that the building can be used for seminars, concerts, conventions, and other events. The Utstein Kloster Foundation now owns it. You can reach the abbey from Stavanger in about a half an hour by road using the Rennfast undersea tunnel. 

Utstein Kloster Photo Gallery

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