Norway’s only preserved medieval monastery
Located in beautiful surroundings on Mosterøy, Harald Fairhair had his royal estate here. In the Middle Ages, it was a monastery for Augustinian monks and later a bailiff’s residence in the 1700s. Today, Utstein Monastery is operated as a museum, conference venue, banquet hall, and concert arena. The monastery is located on Klosterøy in the Rennesøy municipality. It is a 10-minute drive from Sokn Camping.
Utstein appears in historical sources as early as the 1000s, and then as a royal estate for Harald Fairhair after the Battle of Hafrsfjord in the year 872. The monastery was built from the 1260s, but it is possible that some building parts are older and date back to an earlier royal estate. The church is unique in Norway, with the tower located in the middle between the choir and nave.
Utstein is Norways only preserved medieval monastery complex, with both the church and the lower floors of the east and south wings still standing and in use. The monastery is prominently located as a closed complex around a square cloister courtyard in an open landscape, with wide views.