The Franciscan hospital church in Odense

Baptismal font from the franciscan hospital church (Gråbrødre Hospitalskirke) in Odense, 1885. The font is now at Møntergården in Odense. Photo: Jens Gregers Aagaard.


The Franciscan monastery of Gråbrødre Kloster was founded in 1279 by king Erik Klipping. Once, the monastery was a huge complex including a church, a hospital and a lunatic asylum, but in 1819, the church was demolished as it had become dilapidated.

At the bidding of the gods Faith and rituals have shaped life on Funen since antiquity. In the hope of gaining the gods’ favour, Funen’s inhabitants dispatched grave goods to the kingdom of the dead, constructed churches and wore both Thor’s hammers and Christian crosses. Water – gateway to the kingdom of the gods? Did the prehistoric gods live beneath the water – deep in the muddy depths? Or was water merely the gateway to their kingdom? These two questions about our ancestors’ faith will never be resolved, but we do know that bogs, lakes and watercourses were used for offerings and sacrifices – of everything from pots, weapons and tools to animals and people. Faith and water are bound inextricably together. Jesus believed baptism to be the key to entering the kingdom of God. People were not considered proper Christians until they had undergone a baptism ritual and had become cleansed of their sins.

This location is part of the exhibition 'Funen – at the centre of the universe', at Møntergården in Odense. Read more about the exhibition on our website.