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BOOKS ABOUT THE CISTERCIAN ORDER

AND THEIR BEAUTIFUL ABBEYS

 

The Cistercians

Master European Abbey Builders of the 1100s and 1200s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECENT BOOKS ABOUT THE CISTERCIANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

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 Books about the Cistercians from

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Books about the Cistercians from

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If it's Cistercian Abbey photos you want, this is THE coffee table book.  It is packed with superb colour photos of 65 Cistercian Abbeys, preceded by a 130 page illustrated history of the order and how it worked in practice (and including a template showing the typical Cistercian abbey room layout).  Reissued in 2006 by the revived publishers (Könemann).  The cover picture shows the Abbey of Royaumont in France.

 

 

David Robinson's (ed) book of British Cistercian Abbeys is an A4ish sized paperback (also hardback) covering all the British Cistercian Abbey sites and including some great colour photos.

 

The Cistercian monks who now look after the Carthusian Abbey of Florence (La Certosa di Firenze - that's the one on the hill that millions of drivers see from the Certosa junction of the A1 and the 4-Coursie to Siena, but very few ever visit) have produced a web site which amongst other things lists the details of every Cistercian abbey ever built, with a huge amount of accompanying information about the Cistercian order now and then.  Thanks to Stephen Tobin (see below) for flagging this to us.

 

THE CISTERCIANS' WEBSITE

 

 

Wikipedia page on the Cistercians

 

 

 

Certosa di Firenze - Large Cloister and Monks' Cemetery

 

 

 

More books from MSM

 

 

 

In 2008 this book was also available from Amazon France

 

 

This superb book (above), originally published by MSM in French,  is now also available in an English edition.  It is an attractive combination of the history (of European monasticism generally and the Cistercians in particular) and descriptions, illustrations and excellent photographs and information on some fifty abbey sites in Europe, with particular emphasis on France and Spain.  It also has a good though small scale map.  In size it's a largish and fairly heavy (= good quality paper) paperback.  Minor challenges are that the abbey pages are grouped under each foundation house rather than geographically, and it is also not easy to work out what is still there building-wise at the various abbey sites. 

 

MSM also publish a coffee table book (above right) full of their outstanding photos of Cistercian abbeys and art.  Commentary in French, but the bulk of the book is photos. 

 

For the French Cistercian Abbey sites, it's a good idea to also get hold of the sheet road map of France (far right) with all the Cistercian sites marked and a small photo of each of the Abbeys or their ruins and notes about accessibility.

 

Stephen Tobin's book (right) contains the most comprehensive listing (by country and with country maps) of Cistercian Abbey sites all over Europe - 750 of them (many of which the author has visited) - together with ratings of present (1994) status and accessibility and small scale country maps. It also has an good account of the the birth of the Cistercians, the main characters involved, how the abbeys worked and  monastic life in the Middle Ages, and it is a good size and weight for carrying around.  The book is headed for its 20th birthday but hey, that's nothing th the life of a 800 year old abbey!  

 

 

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A tour de force in large size of the most beautiful of Britain's Cistercian abbeys - Rievaulx in Yorkshire - what it looks like, its history, how it worked.

 

 More books about Aelred

 

 

"ARCHITECTURE OF CONTEMPLATION"

Mix of colour and black and white photos in this medium sized coffee table format

 

A black and white photo classic

 

 

 

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 Buy from Amaszon UK

 

 

 

 

A book which challenges most of the accepted "facts" about the early Cistercians

 

 

   

 

The White Monks, the Cistercians in Britain, Glyn Coppack

 

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Fountains Abbey  in Yorkshire

 

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St Stephen (Étienne) Harding

1060 - 1133 (73)

St Bernard of Clairvaux

1090 - 1153 (63)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the seminal "Spiritual journey" books of the mid 1900s.  Euro-American Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968 (53)) became a (Cistercian) Trappist monk and went on to write much more.

 

Link to biography in Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

This is a big book, written in Italian, covering mainly the Italian Cistercian Abbeys built between 1120 and 1160.  It is packed with photos of detailing such as capitals, arches, etc plus plans and maps.  One for Italian speaking architectural historians.

 

 

LINKS TO OVER 40 PAGES OF PHOTOS & HISTORIES OF CISTERCIAN ABBEYS IN PARADOXPLACE

 

Cistercian Insight Pages

 

INTRODUCTION   EARLY YEARS   LATER YEARS   ABBEY  PHOTOS

 

 

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