10. Abbey of Oem (DK)

Cara Insula - the beloved island
In peaceful surroundings on an isthmus between the lakes of 'Mossoe' and 'Gudensoe' close to the town of 'Ry' Denmark you'll find the ruins of Oem Abbey. A group of Cistercian Monks arrived here in the year of 1172 and built a monastery, which during the following centuries turned out to become one of the biggest and most important ones on the danish peninsula of Jutland.
The monks established two canals across the isthmus from the east to the west of the monastery, hence creating an 'island' and the name Cara Insula - the beloved island. The monks inhabited the monastery until 1560. In 1561 the danish King ordered the monastery to be pulled down, and the building materials to be used to build a new castle at Skanderborg. We can now enjoy the 2 1/2 acres of land with the ruins and see the foundations of the almost intact ground plan of a Danish Cistercian Monastery. Of the once several hundred graves, that were implemented at the monastery, five medieval graves are now covered and visible in the ruins of the church and chapel.

Exhibition of the daily life at the monastery
Book buckles in bronze, broken tableware, dropped sewing needles, lost keys and a defect toilet seat are all artefacts telling small stories about the monks' lives during the medieval ages. The medicinal - pathological collection contains human bones found in the monastery and the cemeteries. The exhibited bones, with traces of illness and lesions of violence, give a good account of the rough living conditions of people during the medieval times.

Internet: www.klostermuseet.dk
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