A mighty abbey
In the Middle Ages, Esrum Abbey was inhabited by Cistercian monks. It was founded circa 1151-53 on the initiative of Archbishop Eskil. The monks at Esrum were given a large tract of land, making the abbey one of the largest estates in North Zealand. Culturally and…
Abbey with aspirations
The Cistercians arrived at Esrum with a grand building scheme. They built an abbey church, which was 52 metres wide, a metre less than the order's vast church at Clairvaux. The church in Esrum was perhaps intended to have the same length-width ratio as its mother" in Clairvaux, which would have given it a length of 104 metres, making it the biggest-ever church in Denmark. But the architects' ambitions were unrealistic, and the resulting church in Esrum is known to have been no more than 78 metres in length. The abbey church is long since gone, but parts of its contours are marked on the site. "
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