Founded in 1146 by Sigurd, Bishop of Bergen, it was a Cistercian monastery modeled on those built in England and France.
The Cistercian monks took a vow of poverty, which only allowed them to farm. They became so proficient at farming that they ended up owning over 100 farms (so much for poverty).
In 1537, Lutheranism became the state religion and the abbey's possessions were confiscated and the monastery was demolished. The stones were used in Demark's Kronborg Castle, Bergen's Rosenkrantz Tower and some sent to Germany.
The ruins are protected today as a national monument.