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The Foundation

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In the late Middle Ages a new mendication order came to the country, namely the Karmelites. The Karmelite monks were educated and with the founding of the monastery of Erik of Pommern intended to improve education and learning in the towns. Karmelite monasteries were founded in Landskrona in 1410 and in Elsinore in 1430. The Elsinore Monastery building is the best preserved in the North.

The Karmelite Monastery
The first monasteries were placed in the country and it was not until the emergence of the mendicant orders that monasteries were placed in towns. This development continued in the 15th century, when Karmelite monasteries were founded in the Sound region. The Karmelites had their origin among hermits in the mountain Karmel in the holy land and in 1226 the pope approved the Karmelite order. The Karmelite order was one of the strictest in the Catholic Church and they started early with monastery schools. Gradually the severe monastery rules were lessened, but in the 16th century they were tightened again.
The Karmelite monks were well educated and their monasteries were to contribute to increased knowledge and education in the town. Karmelite monasteries were founded in Landskrona in 1410 and in Elsinore in 1430.
Monasteries in the Towns
Monasteries in the Towns
Karmelite Monk
Karmelite Monk

The Elsinore Monastery
The late medieval monastery building in Elsinore is the best preserved and worth a closer study.
It was Erik of Pommern, who donated the land to the monastery and the pole approved of the plans in 1431. After a fire in 1450 they had to rebuild the monastery, which was a time-consuming and expensive undertaking. A large monastery building like that was expensive to run, but the royal power supported the activities and it was also a common with soul gifts.

Poul Laxmand
The vassal in Krogen in Elsinore, Poul Laxmand, donated 100 Lübeck mark to the monastery.
Poul Laxmand was at the time the richest landowner in the country and he made several donations. 10 year after the first donation you could read in a letter that Lawmand had donated nine hundred Lubeck mark Danish money, ”for which a monastery’s church and cloister was built with the help of many good people”.

The Chancellor
He also possessed the most prominent position in the kingdom. He was chancellor, which meant that he functioned as liaison between the king and the parliament. He was murdered in the street in Copenhagen in 1497. The king, Hans, felt that Laxmand in fact had been a traitor and confiscated all his property.
Poul Laxmand was buried in the Our Lady Church in Elsinore and you can see his family’s coat of arms in the monastery. The chapter hall has been named after him; it is simply called ”The Laxmand Hall”.
Poul Laxmand
Poul Laxmand

Poul Helgesen
Poul Helgesen was born in Varberg in Halland and in time became one of the most important persons in the Karmelite monastery. He was attached to the monastery in 1517 and in 1519 became the principal of the college in Copenhagen. He taught at the university and form 1522-44 he was the leader of the Karmelites in the North. Poul Helgesen was a defender of the Catholic Church until the Reformation in 1536. But he also fought for the internal reformation and development.

After the Reformation
After the Reformation in 1536 the Karmelite monastery stopped functioning as a monastery and became a hospital for the old and sick. It is said that the monks had to get tithe and handouts to run the hospital. The old monks were allowed to stay on and adapt to the new situation.
The Skibby Chronicle
The Skibby Chronicle

©  Øresundstid 2009