Monasteries in the Middle Ages

A Monastery was where monks lived and devoted their lives to god.

When entering a monastery, a monk took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Monasteries were completely self-sufficient places and there was no need for monks to ever leave the confines of the monastery. They farmed the land, kept vegetable gardens and orchards, made their own clothing and completed all their own repairs and handiwork.

There were many areas in a monastery including: Church, Dormitory (shared sleeping area), Refectory (dining area), Kitchens, Bakery, Laundry, Storerooms, Workshops, Library and School.

There were 3 main orders of monks during the middle ages:
Benedictine
Cistercians
Carthusians

Much time was spent in prayer to god and meditation. Each day started and ended in prayer.

There were also daily tasks to undertake:
Farming the land
Cooking the food
Making and washing clothes
Keeping the monastery under repair

As monks were able to read and write they spent time teaching the local children in the school. They were also known to chronicle (factual writing) the history of the time and copy manuscripts.

They were caring of the poor and would feed the hungry and give food and shelter to passing strangers.

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