Excitement about the impending trip to Sweden for the Ystad Jazz Festival grew a bit when the festival’s Itta Johnson sent Lucas Gohlen’s photographs of the monastery known as Gråbrödraklostret (Greyfriars Abbey). It is one of the oldest buildings in that ancient town. Its construction started in 1267. In the seven centuries since, it has been a Franciscan monastery, a poorhouse, a distillery, a granary, a candidate for demolition, a museum and one of southern Sweden’s most popular tourist attractions.
In the late 1800s the municipality bought the monastery buildings. A few years later they were ordered demolished. Protests from the townspeople saved the monastery. Restoration work took most of the twentieth century. Sometimes the wisdom of ordinary people saves the day. Just imagineif that demolition order had held, this rose garden would not exist.
Hooray for the common folk. They rescued the oldest monastery in Sweden.
For details about the Ystad festival, go here and follow the links.
For one of Sweden’s most beloved pieces of music, listen to Scott Hamilton and a Scandinavian rhythm section play “Ack Värmeland, Du Sköna.” The pianist is Jan Lundgren, the artistic director of the Ystad Festival. Jesper Lundgaard is the bassist, Kristian Leth the drummer. You may know the song better as “Dear Old Stockholm.”
Hamilton’s album is Swedish Ballads…& More.