Bosjökloster's history

In touch with ten centuries

Bosjökloster was founded in about 1080 A.D. when a Benedictine monastery for women was built on the shore of Lake Ringsjön. The oldest document in which Bosjökloster is mentioned is a bull from Pope Lucius in 1181, in which he confirms the convent's privileges. When the Reformation in the 16th century came to Skåne, which then was Danish, the convent was closed down. But even today there are many relics from the time of the nuns at Bosjökloster, among them the original vaults (once the nuns' refectory), the church, which is still attended by the local population, ruins of the penitential chapel, the little churchyard where the nuns lie buried under simple stones, and the Thousand Year Old Oak, which still comes into leaf every year in the park.

The first private owner of Bosjökloster was Mrs. Thale Ulfstand, who acquired it by a barter transaction with the Danish King Fredrik II. In 1628 the property was taken over by Jochum Beck, a versatile man and enthusiastic dilettante in many sciences. These experiments stood him dear; he lost most of his money and was forced to sell Bosjökloster to pay his debts. The buyer, Corfitz Ulfeldt, was also short-lived at Bosjökloster. He so lacked diplomacy in his intrigues with both the Swedish and Danish kings that he had to flee both countries, and his wife Leonora Christina — the king's daughter — was imprisoned in the Blue Tower in Copenhagen for all of 22 years.

The estate was sequestrated by the Swedish Government and fell into decay. After a lawsuit in 1735, Bosjökloster was returned to the Beck family, now Beck-Friis, who restored it and held it until 1908, when it was purchased by Count Philip Bonde, whose family still owns Bosjökloster. His grandson Count Tord Bonde and his family are now in charge of the estate.

A note on the name of Bosjökloster: it is derived from bo sjö = "live by a lake" + kloster = "monastery". Originally, the peninsula of today was an island set in a ringshaped lake. The name of the convent was Bosö Kloster, meaning "live on an island in a convent".