Thursday, July 13, 2006

Valle Crucis

Valle Crucis, Wales. So you're driving your car down the road and you just never know what's around the corner. And there...right before your eyes...materializes a magnificent 12th century abbey you didn't even know existed! It's why we travel.

The layout of the abbey largely followed the standard Cistercian plan. The abbey church accommodated both the choir monks, who spent their time in prayer and contemplation, and the lay brethren who undertook more mundane duties, such as agricultural work, enabling the community, at least in its early years, to remain largely self-sufficient. The monks observed their daily offices in the choir, beneath the crossing of the church, separated by a screen from the lay brethren who worshipped in the nave.

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