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The Dominican priory and convent of medieval Roskilde, Denmark

The Dominican priory and convent of medieval Roskilde, Denmark

By Johnny Grandjean Gøgsig Jakobsen

Dominican History Newsletter, Vol. 14 (2005)

Introduction: The city of Roskilde is situated on the central part of Zealand, which is the biggest of the Danish isles. It was founded in the middle of the tenth century as the main seat of the Danish kings. The town also became seat of the bishops of Zealand, who are known from the beginning of the eleventh century. In ecclesiastical matters, Roskilde became the vice-capital of Denmark, only second to the archiepiscopal centre of Lund, with more than 20 churches by the end of the Middle Ages. At the beginning of the thirteenth century, Roskilde housed a cathedral and a secular chapter of canons, and a nunnery of first Benedictine, later Cistercian observance. The Dominican friars arrived in 1231, and were soon followed by Franciscan friars in 1237. A Franciscan nunnery is known from 1255, while the first of only four Dominican nunneries in medieval Scandinavia was founded in Roskilde in 1263.

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