According to the abbey chronicle, Øm Abbey was founded in 1172 by Cistercian monks from Vitskøl Abbey in northern Jutland. The abbey was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was called 'Cara Insula' or the 'dear Island'. The Øm Abbey Chronicle was written by local monks from 1206 to 1267 when it abruptly ends. It outlines events at the abbey during the tumultuous years of the early 13th century.
Bishop Svend of Aarhus transferred many of his own holdings to Øm Abbey and then retired there to live out his days among the monks. He was buried in front of the high altar. Abbot Michael, the twelfth abbot, was buried in the chapter room in the unfinished church. Bishop Peder Elafssen of Aarhus was buried in the church in 1246, years before it was completed. Abbot Jens (1246–1249) was wounded while trying to prevent bandits from stealing horses from the abbey.
The second abbey church was completed in 1257 built of red bricks, the most common building material of the day in the region. It was built in late Gothic style, with a nave nad a transept, but had an irregular shape.
One event which caused trouble for Øm Abbey was the suspicion that the monks harbored Abbot Arnfast of Ryd Abbey who was accused of having murdered King Christopher I of Denmark by giving him poisoned communion wine during mass at Ribe Cathedral in 1259. Abbot Arnfast was supposed to have poisoned the king for his persecution of ArchbishopJacob Erlendsen. A thorough search failed to produce Arnfast, who had fled the country, but any regard that Christopher's son, King Eric V, had had for the Cistercians vanished.
At its height in the late 15th century, the abbey consisted of the church, hospital and hospital cemetery, library, chapter house, refectory, dormitory, cloister and cloister garden, and a guest house. The abbey measured approximately 120 meters by 80 meters. It was one of Denmark's richest houses with land holdings, mills, and a well-recognized hospital. Cistercians were excellent farmers and over time the abbey came into possession of many properties which brought additional income and prestige.
One of the important improvement the monks made to the site was to build three canals. Brother Martin discovered that Moss Lake was about a cubit higher than Lake Guden. The monks used that difference to build two canals near the abbey, one to bring fresh water to the abbey and a second to serve as a primitive sewerage system. The third canal built farther away from the abbey connected the two lakes and was used to transport goods through the lake region. The abbey prospered especially during and after the reign of Queen Margaret I of Denmark. By 1510 the abbey owned 250 properties all over central Jutland.
The Reformation in Denmark brought about the end of the abbey. When Denmark became officially Lutheran in 1536, the abbey was allowed to continue operating with the monks already there, but no new monks were to be admitted. In 1560 the last monk was moved to Sorø Abbey on Zealand, and the land and buildings became crown property underFrederik II. Just a year later, in 1561, Frederik II ordered the buildings to be demolished, and the stone, timber, and bricks used to extend Skanderborg Castle. The land on which the abbey had been located was divided into four large estates in 1571.
The town of Emborg grew on the site of the abbey and now surrounds the it, which has become part of the National Historic Museum system of Denmark.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.