Dronninglund Castle is a former royal residence located in the northern part of the Jutland Peninsula. Its history goes back to the 12th century, when it was the Benedictine monastery of Hundslund Priory. After the last nuns left it in 1581, it was first owned by the Lindenow family. In 1690, Queen Charlotte Amalie acquired it. It is from her that the palace takes the name Dronninglund, meaning 'queens forest'.
The priory was established about 1100 on a royal farm given by King Erik II Emune. The priory was built north of Aalborg for Benedictine nuns. It was dedicated to St. Mary and St. Clement (both names were used in documents).
The original church was built in Romanesque style with rounded arches and a flat timber ceiling. The old church was replaced in 1350 and then renovated several times into the remarkable structure which can still be seen today in its late Gothic form.
The priory had three ranges attached to the church, so that it formed an enclosure to separate the nuns from the rest of the community. One range was used as a dormitory, a second for a refectory and cellars, and the third for lay sisters and unmarried noble women who lived at the priory.
Margaret I gave income properties to Hundslund in the early 14th century, and her favor brought additional gifts from noble families, making the abbey the owner of farms, mills, and other rent property for the sustenance of the abbey. It became one of the largest landowners in northern Jutland.
Hundslund Priory was involved in a lengthy lawsuit with State Councillor Anders Banner over the boundary between his estate and priory lands in 1455. The priory accused Banner of ordering his servants to move the boundary staves and then hired 25 witnesses at the local assembly to say that no one had claimed the disputed land for more than 60 years. Banner was excommunicated by the Bishop of Børglum for his intransigence. The suit was mediated by King Christoffer I at Kalundborg in 1468.
Anders Gyldenstierne was appointed superintendent of the secularized priory in 1531. In the confusion during Skipper Clement's 1534–1535 rebellion, the nuns were literally thrown out of the priory in 1535 by the last Catholic Bishop of Børglum, Stygge Krumpen. Krumpen occupied the priory with his retainters. Gyldenstierne complained on behalf of the nuns to Christian III. The king wanted to strip Bishop Krumpen of his power in order to get control of the State Council and establish the Lutheran Ordinances. The king ordered him out of the priory and restored it to Anders Gyldenstierne and ordered him to keep an eye out for the king's interest in the estate until 1555. The abbey became a home for former nuns and unmarried women until 1572. The entire archive of the priory was transferred to Aalborg Castle, where it was inventoried, but all documents were lost. A few letters regarding Hundslund were preserved in other archives, including the letters of gift from Margaret I.
in 1561 the mortgage on the abbey was paid off by one of Denmark's leading noblemen, Corfitz Uhlfeldt. Hundslund Priory passed into private ownership in 1581, when Frederik II sold the abbey and its properties to the nobleman Johannes Lindenow.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.