Cloister facts for kids

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CloisterinUtrecht
The cloister of a ruined abbey in Utrecht.

A Cloister is a term in architecture. It describes a structure which is usually found in monasteries, churches and old colleges. It is a rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries. It has open arcades on the inner side, running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle.

In the time of Charlemagne the requirements of a separate monastic community within an extended and scattered manorial estate created this "monastery within a monastery" in the form of the locked cloister, an architectural solution allowing the monks to perform their sacred tasks apart from the distractions of laymen and servants.

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