At the junction of Klostergatan and Sladdergatan there is a small, pleasant resting place with a bench and well-tended flowerbed. An archaic, smiling, good-natured and rather plump monk carved in granite has stood in the middle of this spot since 1972.
He has been christened Brother Eskil, which could perhaps refer to Saint Eskil, an early Christian missionary and martyr who is also the patron saint of Södermanland. He is not wearing the characteristic Greyfriars habit with a friar’s cord of three knots that would have been worn by the monks at Ystad Abbey. But, he is certainly a monk and fits in beautifully with this tiny oasis of calm in front of the Abbey Church.
The artist, Nils Hall, was originally from Ystad, but worked in Råå outside Helsingborg. The sculpture was a gift from the artist, initially to the Ystad Crafts Association. Brother Eskil is a much cherished and popular figure, and on occasion during the winter months he has been dressed in warm clothes, so he doesn’t get cold.