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:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.