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tv   Treasures of the World - Fontenay - The Monastery of Poverty France  Deutsche Welle  October 21, 2017 1:15am-1:31am CEST

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in eleven forty seven fontenay abbey and burgundy received an illustrious visitor. pope eugenia's the third came to consecrate the abbey church. among the numerous cardinals and bishops and abbots at the service whose bell now of one of the most influential churchmen of the twelfth century. he was born of landed aristocracy but at the age of twenty two radically changed his life. in april eleven hundred twelve accompanied by some thirty
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friends and relations he entered the cistercian community at sea to the new sister sion orders were reforming monastic life seeking a return to simple christian values that are not responded to the reformist call with enthusiasm. lease. spread fast new ministry sprang up in the forests of burgundy and gemini. disapproved of the benedictine elite at cluny the power lust of the clergy in rome
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and the growing of episcopal churches instead they call for austerity and toil they cleared woodland for example and regulated the flow of rivers one new ministry after another appeared on the map. of supervised personally the construction of. which now stands as a monument to his ideas of what a monastery should look like. monks who pass through this gate enter the world of strict regulations and hard physical labor. the bell calling the monks. a summons with.
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all those who joined as monks came from families peasants sons urban poor were accepted into the community commoners were admitted. to help the monks perform heavy manual tasks later the ministry all. so in noida day laborers. the monks make their own bread and even made their own tools they were for their time outstanding craftsman and engineers the monastery was self-sufficient the cistercians did not want to be dependent on the outside world flow.
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the monastery was built with large workrooms. there was only one heated room where the monks could seek warmth in winter this is where precious manuscripts were camped copying books was one of the principal tasks for brethren who could read and write. but. the cloisters the sacred central quadrangle a symbol of divine order and closed by was open to heaven. when the monks had finished their day's work they could withdraw here to be alone with god. the.
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the. through a large round arch in the eastern cloister the monks entered the chapter house the
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assembly room above the stout romanesque pillars is the dormitory where all the monks slept. in the chapter house the monks were released from their vows silence this is where issues and developments affecting the ministry were discussed first a monk would read the legend of a saint or a section of the book of rules then the abbot would comment on the reading and if you practical instructions for work assignments next came the monks confession in a loud voice they acknowledged their sins and faults and the abbot decided what form of penance or punishment was required on sundays and religious holidays les brethren were also admitted to the assembly but they had to leave before the monks confession. in its simplicity of line the
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abbey church at fontenay appeared to mises the ideas of scent bene unlike most sister ocean churches it was built with only one story and large arcades. the church is sixty six meters long and seventeen meters high and nestles discreetly among the other monastery buildings but inside its uniqueness becomes apparent. was. i. the chancellor square like the cloisters and brightly lit by six windows was. the old to inbound last time was probably a simple table was.
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was the sculpted figures on the wall behind were added after his death was. down that refused to allow any images in his monasteries the only exception was mary the mother of god was. was when the sun shines the yellow stone baits the church in a mystical light. was.
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a narrow staircase leads to the monks dormitory. they slept in their clothes their hoods pulled over their heads the beds were hard consisting of a thin layer of straw on the floor a sheet a woolen blanket and a pillow with the only concession to comfort the sleeping places were separated by low walls. fontenay did not enjoy a long and happy existence as an abbey during the hundred years war between england and france in the fourteenth century it was sacked and plundered many times later in the baroque period the monks increasingly came to resemble those they had once
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despised they accumulated wealth acquired feudal rights to villages and large areas of land and ruthlessly exploited the peasants the boundaries of the monastery extended further and further outwards. rebellious peasants raided the monks granary but when the abbot sort protection from the french king they moved out of the fire into the frying pan now their property was plundered by the crown. a few tears were shed when the abbey was expropriated during the french revolution that was in seventy ninety later a paper mill was set up on the site the abbey looked like falling into total decay but then fortune smiled once again the property was bought by a banking family from leone who set about rebuilding and restoring fontenay to its original state. it was no longer the time for a major religious movement but the new owners did succeed in creating the perfect
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replica of the cistercian abbey. the buildings also stand as a reminder of one of the great figures of medieval europe. a charismatic leader who shaped his world according to his own ideas. at fontenay those ideas i presume him instead.
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