In earlier times, the sea was the natural route for the people by the fjord, and for the people of leksvik, Tautra was our closest neighbor. Here you can read more about the connection between leksvik and the Hjellup farm and the island of Tautra from way back in history.
Tautra is an island located in the Trondheimsfjord opposite Leksvik, and we can therefore call Tautra our closest neighbor. The island is primarily known for its Mariakloster, but also for the old monastery ruins of the Cistercian monastery that was located there before the Reformation in 1536 - 1537. In Catholic times, Leksvik was associated with this monastery and its church. Leksvik belonged to Strinda parish, and had no church of its own in the village at this time. This meant that the nearest church was the monastery church at Tautra. This was where people rowed from Leksvik to attend church services or to receive other church services. At this time, the church was a center of power that, among other things, collected taxes from the population. Attendance at church services was probably also compulsory.
It is said that a storm once blew up when the church people were on their way across the fjord, which resulted in a shipwreck and a large drop in the population of Leksvik. It is said that as many as 300 men died in this shipwreck, but this has not been confirmed by reliable sources. In any case, the church road could be both dangerous and tiring for those who had to make their way over to Tautra - our closest neighbor in all kinds of weather conditions. In addition, the monastery was for a time ruled by the so-called "Gale-Mathias", who was abbot there for two periods. He was notorious for his exploitation of peasants and for overrunning the church's property. It could not have been easy for the people who were subject to the monastery at this time.
Hjellup farm belonged to the monastery at Tautra until the Reformation in 1536-1537. In Trøndelag, there were a total of 167 farms that were subject to the monastery's ownership. Why and how the monastery had gained ownership of all these farms is unknown, but perhaps some of them had come into the church's possession because of the tax pressure and debt burden that was imposed on them, and which eventually led to the farmers having to give up the farms. Of course, it could also be that some people bequeathed their farms to the church in order to secure themselves in the next life. However, this is all just speculation. When the Reformation came, all Catholics were chased out of the country and church property was seized by the Danish-Norwegian King Christian III. After a while, the properties were sold on and used by local farmers.
Today's monastery at Tautra is a Marian monastery. It was founded in 1999, and was initially housed in rather makeshift conditions in an ordinary residential building. On March 25, 2006, the newly built monastery at Tautra was finally opened, and the monastery church was consecrated on May 12, 2007. The impressive building, which was named Building of the Year in 2006 and was designed by the architects Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor AS, is well worth a visit! In the monastery church you can sit down and enjoy the silence, the light and the beautiful altarpiece, which is actually a glass panel showing a view of Fosen (Hoven in Leksvik). The nuns at St. Mary's Convent in Tautra are busy, and although much of their time is spent in prayer and consecration, they also produce fine products such as soaps, lotions and nourishing ointments.
At Hjellup Fjordbo we have taken up the connection with Tautra - our closest neighbor, by including some of the products from Tautra Mariakloster in our small gift shop. These products are quality products that we can really recommend! Feel free to stop by or contact us to see our selection.