Dueholm Priory was a monastery of the Order of the Knights of St. John of Malta, also known as the Knights Hospitaller. It was founded in 1370 by Bishop Sven of Børglum, the diocese of northernmost Jutland at the time. At its height in the early 16th century the priory consisted of twelve brother priests led by a prior, who was often a secular nobleman who served as advocate in worldly matters. The hospital was operated by brothers of the order who were not monks, but living a religious life in conjunction with their service at the hospital. One detail that becomes evident from Dueholm's archive letters is that the population of the priory was quite transitory. Noble families often placed younger sons at Dueholm for a time. Upon their majority they either left the monastery to marry or go to war, join the lay brothers in the hospital, or apply to become knight-monks and enter the priesthood. Dueholm had a school that stood between the mill and the town that was the second school, the first had been built during the reign of Christian II.
Dueholm Priory had a long struggle with the town over Holy Ghost Hospital. The citizens of the town established Holy Ghost Hospital for the care of the poor and sick. It was manned by lay brothers of the Order of the Holy Ghost who lived a religious life of service at the hospital. The argument with the Hospitallers came when in 1445 King Christoffer of Bayern recognized the town's rights to the hospital property which they had built. The priory had obtained a papal bull which granted them permission to finish Holy Ghost Chapel at Holy Ghost Hospital in St Clements parish. The arguments came down to control of income for the hospital and who actually had rights to it. Bishop Gert stood solidly in Dueholm's corner forbidding laymen or helpers from receiving benefit of donations to the hospital. The dispute grew so hot that Christian I stepped in to order that the parish priest at St Clemens was not to be prohibited from saying mass in the hospital chapel, thereby giving St Hans Priory, who chose the priest for the parish church, spiritual control over the hospital. St Hans Priory triumphantly took over Holy Ghost Hospital from the town. In time the priory came to own many properties in the town and in the surrounding area.
Unlike many contemporary monastic houses, parts of Dueholm's archives have been preserved in two 'letter books'. The older collection was copied before 1527 with letters covering the period from 1371 to 1539. The copies were made of letters in deteriorating condition for future reference. The 1370 foundation grant from Bishop Sven is included, one of few such documents. Often the founding grants documents were confiscated when monasteries were closed in the 1520s and 1530s. The 'younger' letter book was copied in 1527. It contains among other letters, the list of arrivals to the priory and the places from which they came. A 1591 inventory of the archive lists a host of documents still in existence after the closure of the priory. There is also an inventory of Tinity Chapel's Archive. The two books fell into the possession of 'the honorable and well-born lady Elle Krastrup, the widow of Thygge Sandberg of Kvelstrup and were preserved by her and then after 1587 passed on to the local magistrate. The letter books were recopied in the 18th century and passed on to government officials for their value in determining land ownership. Unfortunately, the entire archive from Dueholm was moved to Dueholm Castle where it went up in flames in the sack of the castle in 1627. The two surviving Dueholm letters provide glimpses into the everyday life of medieval monks and the surrounding community.
In 1527 St Jørgens House was closed and torn down including its chapel. Its mill became known afterwards as St Hans Mill for the 'Johanitter', the nickname for the Hospitallers. In 1528 the old argument about Holy Ghost Hospital surfaced again when the town wrote to Frederick I, a reform-minded monarch about the pope's unlawful gift of the hospital to the priory accusing the order of not helping the poor and sick at the hospital as they should.
The Reformation in Denmark brought an end to all religious houses, though changes in belief and practice came later to the north of Jutland. But in 1536 Dueholm Priory and its income properties reverted to the crown. Since the main work of the brothers was to run the town hospitals, citizens had an interest in the continuance of medical services. The priory was simply secularized and the work of the hospitals continued. At the death of the last secular prior, Jakob Jensen in 1556, the priory was disbanded though the work of the hospitals continued.
When Thisted county was organized, the priory buildings were converted into a manor house for the local magistrate. Over time the manor estate was broken into smaller holdings. By 1901 only the west range of the former priory was preserved with some of its Gothic arched windows intact.
Dueholm's Priory's west range was restored and today houses the Morslande Historiske Museum. There are several other remnants of walls and foundations which have been incorporated into other buildings.References:
The Veste Coburg is one of Germany's largest castles. The hill on which the fortress stands was inhabited from the Neolithic to the early Middle Ages according to the results of excavations. The first documentary mention of Coburg occurs in 1056, in a gift by Richeza of Lotharingia. Richeza gave her properties to Anno II, Archbishop of Cologne, to allow the creation of Saalfeld Abbey in 1071. In 1075, a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul is mentioned on the fortified Coberg. This document also refers to a Vogt named Gerhart, implying that the local possessions of the Saalfeld Benedictines were administered from the hill.
A document signed by Pope Honorius II in 1206 refers to a mons coburg, a hill settlement. In the 13th century, the hill overlooked the town of Trufalistat (Coburg's predecessor) and the important trade route from Nuremberg via Erfurt to Leipzig. A document dated from 1225 uses the term schloss (palace) for the first time. At the time, the town was controlled by the Dukes of Merania. They were followed in 1248 by the Counts of Henneberg who ruled Coburg until 1353, save for a period from 1292-1312, when the House of Ascania was in charge.
In 1353, Coburg fell to Friedrich, Markgraf von Meißen of the House of Wettin. His successor, Friedrich der Streitbare was awarded the status of Elector of Saxony in 1423. As a result of the Hussite Wars the fortifications of the Veste were expanded in 1430.
In 1485, in the Partition of Leipzig, Veste Coburg fell to the Ernestine branch of the family. A year later, Elector Friedrich der Weise and Johann der Beständige took over the rule of Coburg. Johann used the Veste as a residence from 1499. In 1506/07, Lucas Cranach the Elder lived and worked in the Veste. From April to October 1530, during the Diet of Augsburg, Martin Luther sought protection at the Veste, as he was under an Imperial ban at the time. Whilst he stayed at the fortress, Luther continued with his work translating the Bible into German. In 1547, Johann Ernst moved the residence of the ducal family to a more convenient and fashionable location, Ehrenburg Palace in the town centre of Coburg. The Veste now only served as a fortification.
In the further splitting of the Ernestine line, Coburg became the seat of the Herzogtum von Sachsen-Coburg, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg. The first duke was Johann Casimir (1564-1633), who modernized the fortifications. In 1632, the fortress was unsuccessfully besieged by Imperial and Bavarian forces commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein for seven days during the Thirty Years' War. Its defence was commanded by Georg Christoph von Taupadel. On 17 March 1635, after a renewed siege of five months' duration, the Veste was handed over to the Imperials under Guillaume de Lamboy.
From 1638-72, Coburg and the Veste were part of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1672, they passed to the Dukes of Saxe-Gotha and in 1735 it was joined to the Duchy of Saxe-Saalfeld. Following the introduction of Primogeniture by Duke Franz Josias (1697-1764), Coburg went by way of Ernst Friedrich (1724-1800) to Franz (1750-1806), noted art collector, and to Duke Ernst III (1784-1844), who remodeled the castle.
In 1826, the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was created and Ernst now styled himself 'Ernst I'. Military use of the Veste had ceased by 1700 and outer fortifications had been demolished in 1803-38. From 1838-60, Ernst had the run-down fortress converted into a Gothic revival residence. In 1860, use of the Zeughaus as a prison (since 1782) was discontinued. Through a successful policy of political marriages, the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established links with several of the major European dynasties, including that of the United Kingdom.
The dynasty ended with the reign of Herzog Carl Eduard (1884-1954), also known as Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a grandson of Queen Victoria, who until 1919 also was the 2nd Duke of Albany in the United Kingdom. Under his rule, many changes made to the Veste in the 19th century were reversed under architect Bodo Ebhardt, with the aim of restoring a more authentic medieval look. Along with the other ruling princes of Germany, Carl Eduard was deposed in the revolution of 1918-1919. After Carl Eduard abdicated in late 1918, the Veste came into possession of the state of Bavaria, but the former duke was allowed to live there until his death. The works of art collected by the family were gifted to the Coburger Landesstiftung, a foundation, which today runs the museum.
In 1945, the Veste was seriously damaged by artillery fire in the final days of World War II. After 1946, renovation works were undertaken by the new owner, the Bayerische Verwaltung der staatlichen Schlösser, Gärten und Seen.
The Veste is open to the public and today houses museums, including a collection art objects and paintings that belonged to the ducal family of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, a large collection of arms and armor, significant examples of early modern coaches and sleighs, and important collections of prints, drawings and coins.