Blackfriars’ cellar

On a hill going down towards Österlånggatan in the Old Town is a small, black, iron door. Behind it are the cellars of the Blackfriars’ Monastery, a medieval pilgrimage site.

During the Middle Ages there were three monasteries in Stockholm. The Blackfriars’ Monastery was a Dominican Friary founded by King Magnus Eriksson in 1336.

These mendicant brothers had in their possession a famous altar picture. It was called The Holy Redemption and showed Christ being taken down from the Cross. The picture was made in silver gilt and had miracle-working properties. People made pilgrimages to Stockholm and the monastic church of the Blackfriars to pray for healing and recovery. Miracles took place and are recorded in a collected volume from the early fifteenth century. These cellars may have been used as lodgings for the pilgrims.

During King Gustav Vasa’s reign, Sweden became protestant and the Monastery was dissolved. The building was demolished in 1547 and today the cellars form the only visible remains of the Monastery.

Foundation walls and cellars from the Middle Ages are in existence in the whole of the surrounding quarter of the town and several archaeological surveys have been conducted at the site, the latest in 2010.

Visit

Guided tours of the Blackfriars’ cellar are available for groups.