August 21, 2008
Global Seminars & Invited Speaker Series
GET TO KNOW FITERO AND ITS MONASTERY BETTER
The cloister in history: form, function and significance
Ms. Santiaga Hidalgo Sánchez.
Chair of Navarrese Heritage and Art
The cloister was and remains the heart of the monastic community, as shown in the plans designed by Le Corbusier for the Dominican monastery of Sainte-Marie-de-la-Tourette (France) in 1957.
From the earliest cloisters, which appear in the High Ages average (IX century), its main function is to be a place of passage between the different buildings of the monastic complex. It is also the framework of the main daily activities of the monks: a place where people read in silence at certain times, although at other times, when the children learn their lessons aloud, not so much; where the monks cut their hair, wash in the basin and perform the mandatum. However, it is also a place where the atmosphere of liturgical rituality, the backdrop of medieval monastic life, never completely loses its rights, the cloister being the scene of many processions. Finally, it is also a space for the afterlife, because most of the cloisters served as a place of burial.
The lecture also dealt with other types of cloisters, cathedral or parochial, where the last two functions -stage for the liturgy and funerary place- are the ones that prevailed at the time of their construction.
Ideal plan of a monastery, preserved at Library Services in Sank Gallen, early 9th century.
Scene of tonsure. Capital of the south gallery of the cloister of Gerona.