Uststein Kloster

Utstein Kloster, also known as Utstein Abbey, is a medieval monastery located on the island of Mosterøy in Rogaland county, Norway. It is situated about 11 kilometers northeast of the city of Stavanger, overlooking the waters of the Mastrafjord. Utstein Kloster is renowned for its rich history, architectural beauty, and serene surroundings, making it a popular tourist attraction and an important cultural heritage site.

utstein kloster


Utstein Kloster was founded in the 13th century, specifically in 1260, by King Håkon Håkonsson. It was originally established as a royal estate, and later converted into a monastery for Augustinian monks in 1299. The monastery played a significant role in religious and cultural life in the region for several centuries. Throughout its history, it underwent various expansions, renovations, and changes of ownership, shaping its current appearance and significance.


The architectural style of Utstein Kloster is primarily Gothic, with some elements of Romanesque and Renaissance influences. The main building, known as the abbey church, is an impressive stone structure with a distinctive tower and a beautifully crafted portal. The church features intricate stone carvings and stained glass windows that depict biblical scenes and saints. The monastery also includes a cloister, dormitories, a chapterhouse, a refectory, and other functional areas, each reflecting the simplicity and spirituality of monastic life.


The Reformation and Later Use

The Protestant Reformation in the 16th century led to significant changes in the religious landscape of Norway. Utstein Kloster was secularized and confiscated by the crown in 1537. It subsequently underwent various uses, including as a private residence, a poorhouse, and a military outpost. In the 20th century, efforts were made to restore and preserve the monastery as a historic monument, leading to its current status as a museum and cultural center.

Present-Day Utstein Kloster

Today, Utstein Kloster serves as a museum and venue for concerts, conferences, and cultural events. Visitors can explore the abbey church, the cloister, and other parts of the monastery. The museum showcases the history of the monastery and provides insights into the lives of the monks who once resided there. The serene and picturesque surroundings make it a popular destination for weddings, photography, and quiet contemplation.

In conclusion

Utstein Kloster is a captivating medieval monastery in Norway, steeped in history and architectural grandeur. Its role as a center of spirituality, learning, and cultural heritage has left an indelible mark on the region. Today, it continues to attract visitors who seek to experience the tranquility and marvel at the craftsmanship of this remarkable site.