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St. Johanniskloster (St. John’s priory) is beautifully situated in Schleswig at the banks of the firth Schlei. It is one of Schleswig’s most fascinating buildings with an interesting history:
Since women earned no money in the Middle Ages, they soon turned into a financial problem for their families when staying unmarried. If they had no husbands they entered convents or priories – which was an early form of old age insurance. Things have been like that in Schleswig ever since the 16th century. The predecessor of the priory, the Benedictine Abbey, already 400 years old, did not survive the Reformation period but was razed. What was left was taken over by Schleswig-Holstein’s knights who converted it into a chapter of nuns. Rich knights and noble men are still among us and whoever is noble and of Holstein origin for a long enough period is eligible for admission. And they still have the right to give their daughters to St. Johanniskloster. Traditions that have long become absurd are kept alive at St. Johanniskloster (St. John’s Priory)!
The public has access to the priory and more and more tourists come to St. Johanniskloster. They are guided through the rooms, bringing along a great deal of money. But there is still an atmosphere of tranquility on this place. And – as you can see- another popular tradition is also kept alive here: pruning the linden trees!

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Additional Photos by Harriet Kaehler (Kielia) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2443 W: 0 N: 6404] (22913)
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