750 Years of The Abbey at Ystad


This year the Abbey at Ystad celebrates its 750th anniversary.

Klostret entrance

Established in 1267 by Franciscan monks (The Grey Friars) in what was then the Danish town of Ystad it served as a hospital until 1777 and then a Crown Distillery. It was later used as a grain store and by 1876 when very little remained of its former glory it was sold to the town authority. The abbey ruins were regarded as an eyesore and plans were made to destroy them. The Ystad Archaeological Society was founded in 1907 and carried out renovations, albeit in the 1900s style. The museum and a library were established and the abbey became the first cultural centre in Ystad. It is still used for cultural activities and church services.

Ystad abbey

Borrowing the Gothic style from 12th century France, Baltic Brick Gothic is the style I’d already come across in Lübeck – tall, full of light with ribbed vaults and pointed arches – all features of many churches in Baltic/Hanseatic cities. Ystad was, of course, a member of the League.


We visited the cloister, the small museum and the church itself.  Then enjoyed a wander in the “wonderful gardens” – a rose garden and beautifully maintained knot/herb garden.

Rose garden cloister

The Rose Garden planned on the St Catherine Wheel St Catherine being one of the Greyfriars’ main saints. According to the legend she met her death on a spiked breaking wheel.

rose garden

abbey knot garden






3 comments on “750 Years of The Abbey at Ystad

  1. ms6282 says:

    I thought the Abbey looked remarkably well preserved.!
    Although clear Gothic features there it’s quite different from what we’re used to in Britain, France and Germany

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