"Thanks to their spirituality, asceticism, technical skills and craftsmanship, the Cistercians became one of the most influential monastic orders of the high Middle Ages. Nine centuries ago, when the dynamic energy of the Benedictine order was threatening to ossify into mere grandeur and formalism, the Cistercians returned to the original "holy rules" of Benedict of Nursia and working with their hands.
The stone witnesses of this era include majestic monastic buildings. With their austere dignity and sublime absence of decoration, Cistercian ecclesiastical buildings came to stand for awe-inspiring spiritual clarity and purity.
This volume presents masterpieces of Cistercian architecture in France, Great Britain, the German-speaking lands, Portugal, Spain and Italy. The text describes the development of the order and the life of Bernhard of Clairvaux. A selection of original texts, pictures and chronological tables offers information on the artistic and cultural-historical characteristics of the individual monasteries and their inhabitants. An impressive and inspiring oeuvre!"
Jean-Francois Leroux-Dhuys is an architect and journalist, and serves as conservator at the Ecomusee du cristal de Bayel. His interest in the Cistercians has culminated in his efforts to restore historical Cistercian sites and to make them accessible to the public again.