A Historic Pearl in Vesthimmerland


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Vitskøl Abbey has beautiful architecture, a rugged landscape and is a fascinating piece of Denmark's history in Vesthimmerland. Here you will be able to see the ruins of one of Denmark's largest medieval churches. And you can see beautiful gardens with medicinal plants and herbs that the monks began growing here 850 years ago.

Vitskøl Abbey was founded as a Cistercian monastery in 1158 by Valdemar the Great, who wanted to show his gratitude to God as in the previous year he had triumphed over King Sweyn in the famous battle of Grathe Heath, and thus had become sole king of Denmark.

For the next 378 years it served as a monastery. A large monastic complex was built and in particular a huge church. Vitskøl Abbey became one of the richest monasteries in Denmark.

Since 1935 the abbey has been used as a high school, youth residential home and finally, since 1992, as a division of TAMU, which is a vocational training programme for young people who find it difficult to get a foothold on the employment ladder.

Medieval monks at Vitskøl were famous for their medical treatments that were primarily based on the use of medicinal herbs. Today, Vitskøl has a large garden, which in addition to medicinal herbs contains many hundreds of other interesting plants. There is an opportunity to visit the nursery and the historic gardens, as well as to buy plants.

Dating from the monastic period, the west wing has a well-preserved vaulted cellar, as well as the large church ruin that very clearly shows how big the old abbey church actually was. The interior of the abbey is today used as a conference centre, so on certain days it will not be possible to enter the abbey itself, but the gardens and church ruins are open to visitors throughout the summer season.

Opening hours

Daily 10.00 to 17.00 from mid-May to 1st September

Read more about Destination Himmerland.