Essay on The Benedictine Abbey Of St. Gall

1532 Words Apr 26th, 2016 7 Pages
Question 1 The Benedictine abbey of St. Gall and the Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay both bear designs that reflect the monastic lifestyle which was defined by the 6th century Rule of St. Benedict. The monastic design of the abbeys is characterized by main features such as a church, dormitories meant for sleep, a caldarium, a cloister and a chapterhouse. The Rule of Saint Benedict called for monks to maintain a life of obedience, chastity and poverty. Furthermore, it also stated that monks should equally divide their day between manual labor, study and prayer. As such, the abbeys built conformed to the practices and lifestyle of the monks. The monastic design had the main characteristic of self sufficiency. The conformation of the monastic design to the Rule of St. Benedict can be traced back to the year 535. At around 817, a model plan for a self sufficient religious community was drafted. Known as the Plan of St. Gall, the model design came to define the general layout of monasteries across Europe. This plan was built to suite the typical lifestyle of the communities which were defined by the Christian religion at that time. It basically featured an entire community with the necessary structures and facilities to support approximately 110 monks and 150 servant and workmen. These new monasteries were not just religious institutions, but political and economic institutions as well. These monastic buildings played the major role of preserving and advancing knowledge in…

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