Parish clerk’s seat of oak

Parish clerk's seat of oak, c. 1530, from Vester Åby church. The coat of arms is of the family Gyldenstjerne. This parish clerk's seat is now at Møntergården in Odense. Photo: Jens Gregers Aagaard.


This parish clerk’s seat stood in Vester Åby church. After the Reformation, the parish clerk’s tasks included singing at church services and educating children and youths in the correct Lutheran teachings.

In the world of books Denmark’s first book was printed in Odense in 1482. It then became possible to disseminate knowledge and information on a previously unseen scale and at an unprecedented rate. The printed book still plays an important role in our education system, but its use has developed from the rote learning of the grammar schools to the responsibility for learning placed on the individual. The Funen resident, Christian Kold, who was an activist in the free school movement, was instrumental in sparking this development. The authoritarian school Following the Reformation in 1536, grammar schools were established with the purpose of preparing pupils for university and to educate future members of the clergy. Teaching was based on rote learning and punishment was the order of the day – often drawing blood. In 1537, Odense’s three grammar schools were amalgamated into one grammar institution. Later, grammar schools were also founded in other market towns on Funen, but these all closed in 1740, after which preparatory teaching for university was only available in Odense.

This location is part of the exhibition 'Funen – at the centre of the universe', at Møntergården in Odense. Read more about the exhibition on our website.