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Project Gutenberg's Encyclopedia, vol. 1 ( A - Andropha

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(de Clara Valle), A.D. 1116.  The rigid self-abnegation, 
which was the ruling principle of this reformed congregation 
of the Benedictine order, extended itself to the churches and 
other buildings erected by them.  The characteristic of the 
Cistercian abbeys was the extremest simplicity and a studied 
plainness.  Only one tower--a central one --was permitted, and 
that was to be very low.  Unnecessary pinnacles and turrets 
were prohibited.  The triforium was omitted.  The windows 
were to be plain and undivided, and it was forbidden to 
decorate them with stained glass.  All needless ornament was 
proscribed.  The crosses must be of wood; the candlesticks of 
iron.  The renunciation of the world was to be evidenced 
in all that met the eye.  The same spirit manifested itself 
in the choice of the sites of their monasteries.  The more 
dismal, the more savage, the more hopeless a spot appeared, 
the more did it please their rigid mood.  But they came 
not merely as ascetics, but as improvers.  The Cistercian 
monasteries are, as a rule, found placed in deep well-watered 
valleys.  They always stand on the border of a stream; not 
rarely, as at Fountains, the buildings extend over it.  These 
valleys, now so rich and productive, wore a very different 
aspect when the brethren first chose them as the place of their 
retirement.  Wide swamps, deep morasses, tangled thickets, 
wild impassable forests, were their prevailing features.  The 
``bright valley,'' Clara Vallis of St Bernard, was known 
as the ``valley of Wormwood,'' infamous as a den of robbers. 
``It was a savage dreary solitude, so utterly barren that 
at first Bernard and his companions were reduced to live on 
beech leaves.''-(Milman's Lat. Christ. vol. iii. p. 335.) 

Clairvaux 

All Cistercian monasteries, unless the circumstances of the 
locality forbade it, were arranged according to one plan.  The 
general arrangement and distribution of the various
buildings, which went to make up one of these vast 
establishments, may be gathered from that of St Bernard's own 
abbey of Clairvaux, which is here given.  It will be observed 
that the abbey precincts are surrounded by a strong wall, 
furnished at intervals with watch-towers and other defensive 
works.  The wall is nearly encircled by a stream of water, 
artificially diverted from the small rivulets which flow 
through the precincts, furnishing the establishment with 
an abundant supply in every part, for the litigation of 
the gardens and orchards, the sanitary requirements of the 
brotherhood and for the use of the offices and workshops. 

The precincts are divided across the centre by a wall, 
running from N. to S., into an outer and inner ward,--the 
former containing the menial, the latter the monastic 
buildings.  The precincts are entered by a gateway (P), at 
the extreme western extremity, giving admission to the lower 
ward.  Here the barns, granaries, stables, shambles, workshops 
and workmen,s lodgings were placed, without any regard to 
symmetry, convenience being the only consideration.  Advancing 
eastwards, we have before us the wall separating the 

    FIG. 6.--.Clairvaux, No. 1 (Cistercian), General 

 
  A. Cloisters.         I. Wine-press and       O. Public presse.
  B. Ovens, and corn          hay-chamber       P. Gateway.
       oil-mills        K. Parlour              R. Remains of old monastery
  C. St Bernard's cell. L. Workshops and.
  D. Chief entrance.         workmen's lodgings S. Oratory.
  E. Tanks for fish.                            V. Tile-works.
  F. Guest-house.       M. Slaughter-house.     X. Tile-kiln.
  G. Abbot's house.     N. Barns and stables.   V. Water-courses.
  H. Stables.
 

outer and inner ward, and the gatehouse (D) affording communication 
between the two.  On passing through the gateway, the outer 
court of the inner ward was entered, with the western facade 
of the monastic church in front.  Immediately on the right 
of entrance was the abbot's house (G), in close proximity to 
the guest-house (F). On the other side of the court were the 
stables, for the accommodation of the horses of the guests 
and their attendants (H). The church occupied a central 
position.  To the south was the great cloister (A), 
surrounded by the chief monastic buildings, and farther to 
the east the smaller cloister, opening out of which were 
the infirmary, novices' lodgings and quarters for the aged 
monks.  Still farther to the east, divided from the monastic 
buildings by a wall, were the vegetable gardens and orchards, 
and tank for fish.  The large fish-ponds, an indispensable 
adjunct to any ecclesiastical foundation, on the formation 
of which the monks lavished extreme care and pains, and 
which often remain as almost the only visible traces of these 
vast establishments, were placed outside the abbey walls. 

Plan No. 2 furninshes the ichnography of the distinctly 
monastic buildings on a larger scale.  The usually unvarying 
arrangement of the Cistercian houses allows us to accept 
this as a type of the monasteries of this order.  The church 
(A) is the chief feature.  It consists of a vast nave of 
eleven bays, entered by a narthex, with a transept and short 
apsidal choir. (It may be remarked that the eastern limb in 
all unaltered Cistercian churches is remarkably short, and 
usually square.) To the east of each limb of the transept 
are two square chapels, divided according to Cistercian 
rule by solid walls.  Nine radiating chapels, similarly 
divided, surround the apse.  The stalls of the monks, 
forming the ritual choir, occupy the four eastern bays of the 
nave.  There was a second range of stalls in the extreme 
western bays of the nave for the fratres conversi, or lay 
brothers.  To the south of the church, so as to secure as 
much sun as possible, the cloister was invariably placed, 
except when local reasons forbade it.  Round the cloister 
(B) were ranged the buildings connected with the monks' daily 
life.  The chapter-house (C) always opened out of the east 
walk of the cloister in a line with the south transept. 

      FIG. 7.--Clairvaux, No. 2 (Cistercian), Monastic 

 
  A. Church.            L. Lodgings of novices.   S. Cellars and storehouses.
  B. Cloister. 
  C. Chapter-house.     M. Old guest-house.       T. Water-course.
  D. Monks' parlour.    N. Old abbot's lodgings.  U. Saw-mill and oil mill
  E. Calefactory. 
  F. Kitchen and court. O. Cloister of            V. Currier's shop.
  G. Refectory.            supernumerary monks.
  H. Cemetery.                                    X. Sacristy.
  I. Little cloister.   P. Abbot's hall.          Y. Little library.
  K. Infirmary.         Q. Cell of St Bernard.    Z. Undercroft of dormitory.
                        R. Stables.
 

In Cistercian houses this was quadrangular, and was divided 
by pillars and arches into two or three aisles.  Between 
it and the transept we find the sacristy (X), and a small 
book-room (Y) armariolum, where the brothers deposited the 
volumes borrowed from the library.  On the other side of the 
chapter-house, to the south, is a passage (D) communicating 
with the courts and buildings beyond.  This was sometimes 
known as the parlour, colloquii locus, the monks having the 
privilege of conversation here.  Here also, when iscipline 
became relaxed, traders, who had the liberty of admission, 
were allowed to display their goods.  Beyond this we often 
find the calefactorium or day-room--an apartment warmed 
by flues beneath the pavement, where the brethren, half 
frozen during the night offices, betook themselves after 
the conclusion of lauds, to gain a little warmth, grease 
their sandals and get themselves ready for the work of the 
day.  In the plan before us this apartment (E) opens from the 
south cloister walk, adjoining the refectory.  The place usually 
assigned to it is occupied by the vaulted substructure of the 
dormitory (Z). The dormitory, as a rule, was placed on the 
east side of the cloister, running over the calethetory and 
chapter-house, and joined the south transept, where a flight 
of steps admitted the brethren into the church for nocturnal 
services.  Opening out of the dormitory was always the 
necessarium, planned with the greatest regard to health and 
cleanliness, a water-course invariably running from end to 
end.  The refectory opens out of the south cloister at G. 
The position of the refectory is usually a marked point of 
difference between Benedictine and Cistercian abbeys.  In the 
former, as at Canterbury, the refectory ran east and west 
parallel to the nave of the church, on the side of the cloister 
farthest removed from it.  In the Cistercian monasturies, to 
keep the noise and smell of dinner still farther away from 
the sacred building, the refectory was built north and south, 
at right angles to the axis of the church.  It was often 
divided, sometimes into two, sometimes, as here, into three 
aisles.  Outside the refectory door, in the cloister, 
was the lavatory, where the monks washed their hands at 
dinner-time.  The buildings belonging to the material life of 
the monks lay near the refectory, as far as possible from the 
church, to the S.W. With a distinct entrance from the outer 
court was the kitchen court (F), with its buttery, scullery 
and larder, and the important adjunct of a stream of running 
water.  Farther to the west, projecting beyond the line of 
the west front of the church, were vast vaulted apartments 
(SS), serving as cellars and storehouses, above which was 
the dormitory of the conversi. Detached from these, and 
separated entirely from the monastic buildings, were various 
workshops, which convenience repuired to be banished to 
the outer precincts, a saw-mill and oil-mill (UU) turned 
by water, and a currier's shop (V), where the sandals 
and leathern girdles of the monks were made and repaired. 

Returning to the cloister, a vaulted passage admitted to the small 
cloister (l), opening from the north side of which were eight 
small cells, assigned to the scribes employed in copying works 
for the library, which was placed in the upper story, accessible 
by a turret staircase.  To the south of the small cloister 
a long hall will be noticed.  This was a lecture-hall, or 
rather a hall for the religious disputations customary among the 
Cistercians.  From this cloister opened the infirmary (K), 
with its hall, chapel, cells, blood-letting house and other 
dependencies.  At the eastern verge of the vast group of buildings 
we find the novices' lodgings (L), with a third cloister 
near the novices' quarters and the original guest-house (M). 
Detached from the great mass of the monastic edifices was the 
original abbot's house (N), with its dining-hall (P). Closely 
adjoining to this, so that the eye of the father of the whole 
establishment should be constantly over those who stood the 
most in need of his watchful care,--those who were training 
for the monastic life, and those who had worn themselves 
out in its duties,--was a fourth cloister (O), with annexed 
buildings, devoted to the aged and infirm members of the 
establishment.  The cemetery, the last resting-place of the 
brethren, lay to the north side of the nave of the church (H). 

It will be seen from the above account that the arrangement of 
a Cistercian monastery was in accordance with a clearly defined 
system, and admirably adapted to its purpose.  The base court 
nearest to the outer wall contained the buildings belonging to 
the functions of the body as agriculturists and employers of 
labour.  Advancing into the inner court, the buildings`devoted 
to hospitality are found close to the entrance; while those 
connected with the supply of the material wants of the brethren, 
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