The monastery as a living space

For Benedictines the monastery is the place where they can find happiness in life. It is essential for the monk to find everything needed for life within the monastery.

The monastery’s rooms such as the cloister, cells, choir chapel, refectory, library, chapter house, garden and cemetery are related to the environments and stages in a monk’s life. He has to give himself up to them and pass through them to attain a fulfilled life.

“The monastery ought to be so organised, if it can possibly be done, that all necessaries, that is, water, a mill-house, a garden and various crafts may be forthcoming within the monastery, so that there may be no necessity for the monks to go beyond the gates, because that is by no means expedient for their souls.” (Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 66)

In his book „Wohne bei Dir selbst – der Klosterplan als Lebensmodell“ (available only in German), Abbot Johannes closely examines the various rooms in the monastery and their significance for personal living spaces and stages of life. It is available in the monastery store.

Enclosure – protected space in the search for God

These rooms are also called the enclosure: “enclosed space”. They require special protection.
Not only are they the monks’ private rooms, what makes a monk also takes place in them: The continuous search for God and encounters with Him.

Andechs Monastery Emblem