IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1516: City and Monastery, III: Monastic Towns

Thursday 12 July 2007, 09.00-10.30

Moderator/Chair:Charles McClendon, Department of Fine Arts, Brandeis University, Massachusetts
Paper 1516-a'Social Construction of Space' in Monastic Towns of South-Eastern England
(Language: English)
Anna Anisimova, Institute of World History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow
Index terms: Local History, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 1516-cMonasteries in Medieval Cities in the Northern Netherlands
(Language: English)
Gerrit Vermeer, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Index terms: Archaeology - Sites, Architecture - Religious, Monasticism

Paper a: Spatial arrangement of the town seems to be one of the features which make ‘monastic’ towns different from those belonging to other seigneurs. It implies also the ‘social construction of space’. This issue could include such different aspects as definition of the religious precinct and the sanctuary rights of the monastery, the way in which townspeople may have used those spaces, use of the abbey church for parochial purposes, etc. This paper will explore the phenomenon on the material of South-Eastern England which provides a variety of monastic towns with different characteristics and the level of development.
Paper c: In the late Middle Ages monasteries occupied vast areas of Dutch cities. Most of these were inhabited by nuns or sisters. In design and character these religious quarters had nothing in common with the secular parts of the towns, where the merchants and the tradesmen worked and lived. The monasteries were very spacious with cemeteries, orchards, gardens and meadows for drying their linen. The monasteries oriented themselves to their inner courts and hardly had any doors and windows along the streets. The religious quarters were therefore silent and their streets devoid of activity. Only after the Reformation these terrains became integrated parts of the towns.