Tautra Abbey was a Cistercian monastery founded in 1207 by monks from Lyse Abbey near Bergen. The site was an attractive one, and the earlier foundation of Munkeby Abbey seems to have been transferred here shortly after the foundation of this house. The abbey grew wealthy and powerful, and its abbots often played a major part in Norwegian politics.
Tautra Abbey was dissolved during the Reformation in Scandinavia in 1537, its lands were passed to the Crown, but the sizeable ruins of the church are still to be seen.
The present Tautra Monastery is a newly founded Trappistine community, and it is the first permanent Cistercian settlement in Norway since the Reformation. It was founded in 1999, near the ruins of the medieval monastery, as a foundation of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey, located in Mississippi in the United States. The foundation stone was laid by Queen Sonja of Norway on 23 May 2003. The new monastery was granted general autonomy on 26 May 2006.The Trappistine nuns who established the monastery hope to be a point of contact and exchange between the Norwegian tradition and Cistercian spirituality.
On 25 March 2012, the status of the monastery was raised to that of Major Priory in the Cistercian Order. The following day, an election was held in which the founding prioress, Mother Rosemary Duncar, O.C.S.O., a native of the United States, was succeedeed by Sister Gilkrist Lavigne, O.C.S.O., a Canadian-American, who is now a citizen of Norway.
A community of Cistercians monks is in the process of being established nearby, near the former Munkeby Abbey, the first foundation of the Order in what is now Norway. The monk in residence serves as chaplain to the nuns. The new monastery will the first new foundation by the motherhouse of the Order, the Abbey of Cîteaux, since the 13th century.References:
The Schloßberg is the site of ancient fortress in the centre of the city of Graz, Austria. The hill is now a public park and enjoys extensive views of the city. The fortification of the Schloßberg goes back to at least the 10th century. In the mid-16th century, a 400 m long fortress was constructed by architects from the north of Italy. There are records of a cable-hauled lift being in use between 1528 and 1595 to move construction materials for the fortifications. The castle was never conquered, but it was largely demolished by Napoleonic forces under the Treaty of Schönbrunn of 1809. The clock tower (the Uhrturm) and bell tower (the Glockenturm) were spared after the people of Graz paid a ransom for their preservation.
The remains of the castle were turned into a public park by Ludwig von Welden in 1839. The park contains the Uhrturm, the Glockenturm, a cistern and two bastions from the old castle. The Uhrturm is a recognisable icon for the city, and is unusual in that the clock"s hands have opposite roles to the common notion, with the larger one marking hours while the smaller is for minutes. The Glockenturm contains Liesl, the heaviest bell in Graz.
Near the Uhrturm there is a café with views over the old town. Additionally, on the western side of the Schloßberg, there are two small cafés, one with table service and the other one with self-service. Next to the terminus of the funicular railway there is a hilltop restaurant with views of western Graz. In what was once the cellar of one of the ruined bastions is the Kasemattenbühne, an open-air stage for concerts and performances.
Below the Schloßberg hill is an extensive system of tunnels, which were created during the second world war to protect the civilian population of Graz from aerial bombing. Some of these tunnels are still accessible, including a passage from Schloßbergplatz to Karmeliterplatz, and a grotto railway for children. Also in the tunnel complex is the Dom im Berg, which was expanded in 2000 to provide a venue space for up to 600 people.