St. Peter's Priory (Sankt Peters Klosters kyrka) was one of Denmark's early monastic houses. It was established before 1166 during the tenure of Eskil, Archbishop of Lund, for Benedictine nuns. It was originally dedicated to Saint Mary and Saint Peter, but by 1200 it was simply referred to as St. Peter's Priory. The original church was built in the latter half of the 1160s of sandstone with the rounded arches of the Romanesque style.
The church was rebuilt in brick and expanded about 1300 in the Gothic style. The entire complex consisted of three ranges with the priory church forming the fourth side of a quadrilateral enclosure. The complex included a dormitory, refectory and cellars, and a wing for lay sisters. The church over time came into possession of many income properties which paid rents to sustain the priory. There are records of several exchanges of farms between St. Peter's Priory and the chapter of Lund Cathedral.
In the course of the Reformation Denmark became officially a Lutheran kingdom in October 1536. All religious houses and their many acquired income properties reverted to the crown. The entire archive of the priory was lost except for a few letters regarding the disposition of the priory near the time of the Reformation. The last letter of the prioress, dated 1537, giving up the priory is found among them. The estate was given to Eskil Oxe by the crown until 1565 when it passed into the possession of Jorgen and Inger Brahe, the maternal uncle and aunt of Tycho Brahe, the famous Danish astronomer.
About 1600 all the conventual buildings were demolished, leaving the priory church to serve as the parish church of St Peter's. The burial ground continued to be used for burials until modern times.References:
The Jelling stones are massive carved runestones from the 10th century, found at the town of Jelling in Denmark. The older of the two Jelling stones was raised by King Gorm the Old in memory of his wife Thyra. The larger of the two stones was raised by King Gorm's son, Harald Bluetooth in memory of his parents, celebrating his conquest of Denmark and Norway, and his conversion of the Danes to Christianity. The runic inscriptions on these stones are considered the most well known in Denmark.
The Jelling stones stand in the churchyard of Jelling church between two large mounds. The stones represent the transitional period between the indigenous Norse paganism and the process of Christianization in Denmark; the larger stone is often cited as Denmark's baptismal certificate (dåbsattest), containing a depiction of Christ. They are strongly identified with the creation of Denmark as a nation state and both stones feature one of the earliest records of the name 'Danmark'.
After having been exposed to all kinds of weather for a thousand years cracks are beginning to show. On the 15th of November 2008 experts from UNESCO examined the stones to determine their condition. Experts requested that the stones be moved to an indoor exhibition hall, or in some other way protected in situ, to prevent further damage from the weather.
Heritage Agency of Denmark decided to keep the stones in their current location and selected a protective casing design from 157 projects submitted through a competition. The winner of the competition was Nobel Architects. The glass casing creates a climate system that keeps the stones at a fixed temperature and humidity and protects them from weathering. The design features rectangular glass casings strengthened by two solid bronze sides mounted on a supporting steel skeleton. The glass is coated with an anti-reflective material that gives the exhibit a greenish hue. Additionally, the bronze patina gives off a rusty, greenish colour, highlighting the runestones' gray and reddish tones and emphasising their monumental character and significance.