Among the most beautiful, spiritual and evocative structures in stone ever built are the medieval monasteries of Europe. The importance of the monastic world, its ideas and ideals, to the rise of Western civilization is second to none. The Age of the Cloister offers a fascinating overview of the birth and flowering of monasticism, and describes in great detail the everyday monastic life and the faith, literature, economy, architecture and culture of countless monks, hermits, nuns, canons, friars and lay men and women spanning hundreds of years.
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