Monday, 8 June 2015

The Cistercians. Part Six.


Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.



English: Ruins of the Abbey of Savigny, France.
The Houses affiliated with the Abbey of Savigny merged with The Cistercian Order.
Français: Porche d'accès entre le cloitre et l'extérieur entre le dortoir et le réfectoire.
Vue des ruines de l'abbaye de Savigny le vieux, manche, France.
Photo: 11 February 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Crochet.david.
(Wikimedia Commons)


In 1892, The Trappist Observance left The Cistercians and founded a new Order. Today, there are two Cistercian Orders:
The Common Observance, with about thirty Monasteries and 800 Choir Monks, the large majority being in Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Vietnam and Eritrea. They represent the main body of The Order and follow a mitigated Rule of Life. In Asia, they run farms, in other parts of the World they work in Schools and Parishes;
The Strict Observance, or Trappists, with nearly 100 Monasteries, about 1,566 Solemnly Professed Choir Monks and 150 Solemnly Professed Non-Choir Monks (Lay Brothers). Including those in Monastic Formation, and Oblates, there are 2,132.
There has also always been a large number of Cistercian Nuns. The first Community was founded in the Diocese of Langres, France, in 1125. At the period of their widest extension, there are said to have been 900 Monasteries, and the Communities were very large. The Nuns were Devoted to Contemplation and also did field-work.



English: Basilica of Saint Mary, 
Lubiaz Abbey (Leubus Abbey), Poland.
The Abbey, established in 1175, is one of the largest
Christian architectural complexes in the World
and is considered a masterpiece of Baroque Silesian architecture.
Polski: Fasada bazyliki wniebowzięcia w Lubiążu.
Photo: 10 August 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Tobiii.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Lubiąż Abbey (German: Kloster Leubus. Polish: Opactwo cystersów w Lubiążu), also commonly known in English as Leubus Abbey, is a former Cistercian Monastery in Lubiąż, in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship of South-Western Poland, located about fifty-four km (34 miles) North-West of Wrocław. The Abbey, established in 1175, is one of the largest Christian architectural complexes in the World and is considered a masterpiece of Baroque Silesian architecture.

In Spain and France, certain Cistercian Abbesses had Extraordinary Privileges. Numerous Reforms took place among the Nuns. The best known of all Cistercian Women's Communities was probably the Abbey of Port-Royal, Reformed by Mother Marie Angélique Arnauld, and associated with the story of The Jansenist Controversy.



Lubiaz Abbey (Leubus Abbey), Poland.
The Abbey, established in 1175, is one of the largest
Christian architectural complexes in the World
and is considered a masterpiece of Baroque Silesian architecture.
Photo: 2012-09-05.
Source: Own work.
Author: Copyright: Ryszard Michalik (rychem).
Illustration: TREKEARTH



Lubiaz Abbey (Leubus Abbey), Poland.
The Abbey, established in 1175, is one of the largest
Christian architectural complexes in the World
and is considered a masterpiece of Baroque Silesian architecture.
Photo: 23 August 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: DocentX.
Illustration: SKYSCRAPERCITY.COM


The Nuns have also followed the split in Observances followed by the Monks. Those who follow the Reform of De Rancé are called Trappistines. As with the men, the Houses of this Branch outnumber those of The Original Observance.

Cistercian architecture has made an important contribution to European civilisation. Architecturally speaking, the Cistercian Monasteries and Churches, owing to their pure style, may be counted among the most beautiful relics of The Middle Ages. Cistercian Foundations were primarily constructed in Romanesque and Gothic architecture during The Middle Ages, although later Abbeys were also constructed in Renaissance and Baroque Styles.



Lubiaz Abbey (Leubus Abbey), Poland.
The Abbey, established in 1175, is one of the largest
Christian architectural complexes in the World
and is considered a masterpiece of Baroque Silesian architecture.
Photo: 23 August 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: DocentX.
Illustration: SKYSCRAPERCITY.COM


In the Mid-12th-Century, one of the leading Churchmen of his day, the Benedictine Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis, France, united elements of Norman architecture with elements of Burgundian architecture (Rib Vaults and Pointed Arches, respectively), creating the new Style of Gothic architecture. This new "Architecture of Light" was intended to raise the observer "from the material to the immaterial" – it was, according to the 20th-Century French historian Georges Duby, a "monument of applied theology". Although Saint Bernard saw much of Church decoration as a distraction from Piety, and the builders of the Cistercian Monasteries had to adopt a Style that observed the numerous rules inspired by his austere aesthetics, The Order itself was receptive to the technical improvements of Gothic principles of construction and played an important role in its spread across Europe.



English: The Cistercians helped facilitate the spread of Water-Wheel technology.
Braine-le-Château, Belgium. 12th-Century.
Français: Moulin banal, Braine-le-Château, Belgium.
Walon: Molén banåve do 12inme sieke, a Brinne-Tchestea.
Photo: 14 November 2004.
Source: Own work.
Author: Pierre79.
(Wikimedia Commons)


This new Cistercian architecture embodied the ideals of The Order, and was, in theory at least, utilitarian and without superfluous ornament. The same "rational, integrated scheme" was used across Europe to meet the largely homogeneous needs of The Order. Various buildings, including The Chapter-House, to the East, and the Dormitories, above, were grouped around a Cloister, and were sometimes linked to The Transept of the Church by Night Stairs. Usually, Cistercian Churches were Cruciform, with a short Presbytery to meet the Liturgical needs of the Brethren, small Chapels in the Transepts for Private Prayer, and an Aisled Nave that was divided, roughly in the middle, by a Screen to separate the Monks from the Lay Brothers.

The building projects of the Church, in The High Middle Ages, showed an ambition for the colossal, with vast amounts of stone being quarried, and the same was true of the Cistercian projects. Foigny Abbey was ninety-eight metres (322 ft) long, and Vaucelles Abbey was 132 metres (433 ft) long. Monastic buildings came to be constructed entirely of stone, right down to the most humble of buildings. In the 12th- and 13th-Centuries, Cistercian barns consisted of a stone exterior, divided into Nave and Aisles, either by Wooden Posts or by Stone Piers.

The Cistercians acquired a reputation in the difficult task of administering the building sites for Abbeys and Cathedrals. Saint Bernard's own brother, Achard, is known to have supervised the construction of many Abbeys, such as Himmerod Abbey in the Rhineland. Others were: Raoul at Saint-Jouin-de-Marnes, who later became Abbot there; Geoffrey d'Aignay, sent to Fountains Abbey in 1133; and Robert, sent to Mellifont Abbey, in 1142. On one occasion, the Abbot of La Trinité, at Vendôme, France, loaned a Monk, named John, to the Bishop of Le Mans, Hildebert de Lavardin, for the building of a Cathedral. After the project was completed, John refused to return to his Monastery.



Liturgical Celebration 
in the Cistercian Abbey of Acey, Jura, France.
[Editor: Note the "starkness" and lack of architectural decoration,
which is a Cistercian hallmark.]
Photo: 17 March 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Arnaud 25.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The Cistercians "made it a point of honour to recruit the best stone-cutters", and, as early as 1133, Saint Bernard was hiring workers to help the Monks erect new buildings at Clairvaux. It is from the 12th-Century Byland Abbey, in Yorkshire, England, that the oldest recorded example of architectural Tracing is found. Tracings were architectural drawings incised and painted in stone, to a depth of two to three mm, showing architectural detail to scale. The first Tracing in Byland Abbey illustrates a West Rose Window, while the second Tracing depicts the Central Part of that same Rose Window. Later, an illustration from the latter half of the 16th-Century would show Monks working alongside other craftsmen in the construction of Schönau Abbey.



Byland Abbey, in North Yorkshire, England,
was one of the great Mediaeval Abbeys of England
and was dissolved in 1539. The ruins are now in the care of English Heritage.
Photo: 14 August 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Grant Shaw.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The Cistercian Abbeys of Fontenay in France, Fountains in England, Alcobaça in Portugal, Poblet in Spain, and Maulbronn in Germany, are today recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Abbeys of France and England are fine examples of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. The architecture of Fontenay Abbey has been described as "an excellent illustration of the ideal of self-sufficiency" practised by the earliest Cistercian Communities. The Abbeys of 12th-Century England were stark and undecorated – a dramatic contrast with the elaborate Churches of the wealthier Benedictine Houses – yet, to quote Warren Hollister, "even now, the simple beauty of Cistercian ruins, such as Fountains and Rievaulx, set in the wilderness of Yorkshire, is deeply moving".

In the purity of architectural style, the beauty of materials, and the care with which the Alcobaça Monastery was built, Portugal possesses one of the most outstanding and best preserved examples of the Early Gothic-Style. Poblet Monastery, one of the largest in Spain, is considered similarly impressive for its austerity, majesty, and the fortified Royal Residence within.


PART SEVEN FOLLOWS.

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