History of Munkeby and the new Munkeby Mariakloster

Munkeby, the "place of the monks" was the third and northernmost Norwegian monastery established by the Cistercians in the 12th century. It was located, typically, close to a river, in central Norway's Trøndelag region. Nearby were the crossroads of a trade route to Sweden, and the popular pilgrimage road from Trondheim to Stiklestad, where Saint Olav fell in battle in 1030 implanting Christianity. Munkeby was one of more than 500 Cistercian monasteries established in Europe in less than a century. Monks, during this period of spiritual enlightenment, were the primary contributors to advancements in social structure, agriculture, forestry and hydraulics.

The new Munkeby Mariakloster - kloster is Norwegian for monastery - is being constructed over the foundations of a farmhouse in a sheltered rural environment of forest, farmland and pasture. Wood and stone will be primary building materials to blend with the natural landscape. The four founding French monks will establish their discrete presence as a contemplative monastery according to the Rule of Saint Benedict, written in the 6th century. Brother Joel (56) & Cîteaux's Prior, brothers Arnaud (33), Bruno (34) and Cyril (82), have all chosen to be part of the founding community, despite Norway's rude climate and winter darkness at latitude 63º N, not far from the arctic circle.

Next door neighbors and the Levanger commune have warmly welcomed the return of Cistercians, and await the rediscovery of a past that is somehow still present in their hidden memory and in the nearby monastic ruins. Neighbors will supply the milk used to fabricate the cheese that will allow the monks to be self-supporting. Regular daily monastic prayer services will be open to everyone, regardless of race or religion.

Click on the following three links to view the architect's plans of the monastery: picture 1, picture 2 and picture 3.

Ruins of the 12th century monastery

Ruins of the 12th century monastery

Ruins of the 12th century monastery

Ruins of the 12th century monastery











"));