Munkebakken in Næstved contains a small amphitheater, a lookout tower, memorial stones and of course the monks, originally created by a local artist.
Munkebakken has a high tower commanding a wide view of almost all the sights of South Zealand.
In 1997 a local artist, Jens Andersen, started converting an avenue of elms into monks. The result may be seen by everybody, who passes the very lifelike monks, a total of seven from various monastic orders.
The following monks are represented:
- Three Benedictine monks - a choir boy from grammar school; two monks, one of them carrying a branch of deadly nightshade in his hand
- Two Franciscan monks, one carrying a prayer book and a small bottle with holy water in his hands
- One Dominican monk
- One lay brother with long beard and a fork in his hands
The monks have been coated with a mixture of turpentine and linseed oil and the artist expects them to last for about ten years. This is how long you may count on seeing them as it is impossible to prevent them from rotting from the inside where earth meets air.
In autumn 2005 there was made casts of the 7 monks and in autumn of 2006 the first monk was presented in bronze. Næstved municipality is now looking for sponsors for the monkstatues, and as they find them the bronzestatues will be set up. Bronzemonk number 2 was set up in January 2008.
Originally Jens Andersen was a cabinet maker, but a damaged hand made him change to another profession, and he became a gardener. After seventeen years as a specialist teacher at the Technical School of Slagelse he retired. Since then he has been able to concentrate on his hobby - making sculptures of different materials.
According to the legend Munkebakken was actually created by a furious troll!
The myth says that a troll living in Fladså couldn't abide the sound of the church bells in Næstved. So he filled a sack with sand and set off for Næstved to bury the churches. Luckily there was a hole in the sack and the sand leaked out. And in this way the troll created Fladså hills and the long ridge. Today a towering statue of the troll may be seen at the foot of Munkebakken, which was created by the last sand which the furious troll hurled at Næstved.