The Monastary District
Until the second half of the 17th century, Præstegade (Priest’s street) was known as Klostergade (Monastery street), and for good reason as the area was greatly influenced by church institutions. To this day, the area is known as the Monastery District. The most important institution was a monastery for Blackfriars or Dominicans, as they were known officially. The pope had given this order the task of spreading the true faith among ordinary people. They did so by walking around the streets of towns or in villages, where they preached and collected alms for the monastery. With their black cloaks, the monks put a distinctive stamp on the town.
In the decades leading up to the Reformation, there was also a group of women in Haderslev called beguines, special lay nuns who belonged to the Franciscan Order. Their duties included nursing and teaching children. The building they lived in was not far from the Dominicans’ monastery.
On the north slope of the monastery peninsula was the residence for the priests who served in the Marian Chapel – one of the many extensions to the Church of Our Lady. The priests’ residence is long gone, and the chapel, too. It was located in the west end of the church and was destroyed when the church tower collapsed during the great fire in 1627.