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about esrum abbey

“May nobody dare demand tithes of your work, of which you grow with your own hands, using your own means or the progeny of your animals. (…) If any ecclesiastical or worldly person presumptuously tries to deliberately go against the provisions in our letter he shall be deprived of the dignity of his power and honour, and know that he must answer for the injustice he has committed in front of God’s judgement.”

(Privileges granted to Esrum Abbey by Pope Alexander III)

This area of North Zealand was under the personal protection of the Pope. The various medieval Popes probably had no idea as to what this abbey was about to be subject to. The buildings and lands weren’t merely acquired by the Crown with the closure of most of the Danish monasteries during the Reformation. The presumptuous King Frederik II tore down nine tenths of the vast abbey complex and made it a center of the royal hunting grounds in Gribskov.