Glenstrup Abbey, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was founded about 1125 as a Benedictine monastery. The nobleman Svend Bo and his wife Inger Thott gave property and several farms to support it in the mid-12th century. It was built on the site of a holy spring called Maria's Spring in medieval times. The location was a religious one in Viking times and the abbey was most likely constructed on the site of a stave chapel built to Christianize the place in the late 11th century.
The monastery was built in the traditional three ranges attached to a church as a four-sided enclosure. The massive Romanesque tower was an unusual feature on the west front of the abbey church. At its height the abbey owned many farms, two mills, and several churches from which it collected tithes. It also owned the permanent rights to fish eels from the lake, where it built a permanent eel trap. It also had the rights to income from the fair or market held on Lady Day, which was held in nearby fields as late as 1552.
The abbey however eventually entered a long slow decline which culminated in its closure in 1431. Although records are sparse, this was apparently caused by a combination of lack of revenue and declining religious standards which meant that there were no novices. Ulrik, Bishop of Aarhus, decided that the house had become unruly and that to maintain it would cost the diocese more than it brought in; the last Benedictine monks were therefore removed, and an effort made to interest another order in the premises.
At the suggestion of King Eric of Pomerania, Bishop Ulrik gave the abbey and the income properties from the recently closed priory of Our Lady in Randers to the Carthusian Orderfor the establishment of a new charterhouse in the Diocese of Aarhus in 1429. The Carthusians settled briefly at the vacant Glenstrup Abbey, creating Glenstrup Charterhouse, but abandoned the site by 1441.
Bishop Ulrik then tried to re-establish a Benedictine community, but the attempt was short-lived, and the Benedictines left Glenstrup for the last time before 1445.
Bishop Ulrik then gave the abbey and its attendant properties to the newly-established Bridgettine Mariager Abbey. The Bridgettines were seen in the mid-15th century as a reforming order capable of restoring the religious zeal that many religious houses had lost and re-establishing the strict standards which by this time many had abandoned. They were however only interested in the estates of Glenstrup, and demolished the abbey premises shortly after 1445, leaving only the church.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.