17. Vreta monestary (S)

Vreta kloster (i e Vreta monastery) is situated on the site of the same name, 10 kms north-west of the city of Linköping, which is some 220 kms south-west of Stockholm. The province is Östergötland (Ostrogothia). The cloister was founded ca. 1110 and was the first in what is today known as Sweden. It is likely that this was initially organized according to the Rule of St Benedict. Probably about 1162 the cloister was re-established as belonging to the Cistercian Order. King Inge the Elder and his wife Helena were the founders and for a couple of hundred years the convent was populated by women from the highest strata of society. Many royal and aristocratic ladies lived as nuns in Vreta - a very wealthy convent - which was Sweden´s most distinguished nunnery until in the late 14th centuray Saint Birgitta´s convent was established 50 kms away and took over that role. From Vreta three other cloisters were founded: Askeby, Riseberga and Solberga.
After the Reformation the convent was dissolved in 1582, when the two last nuns died. The convent buildings decayed and from the middle of the 18th century nothing was left above ground. In the years 1916 - 1926 an archaeological excavation brought the buildings to light again - now in ruins - and they have since been kept visible.
The abbey church however is still there almost intact and has been used all the time since it was built in the first years of the 12th century. It was built as a church for the king and probably also for a bishop. About 1162 it was extended with a choir in Cistercian style; the choir became the church for the convent. After the Reformation the parish has used all the church and now, after 900 years, Vreta still has a beautiful medieval church with typical Cistercian touch.

Internet: www.vretaklosterforening.se
Login Archive Cloister Links Map News Forum Home Home Home Home Home