(active 1150-1200 in Swabia)

View of the monastery and galilee

Cistercian abbey, Maulbronn

The Cistercian Order finds its historical origin in Cîteaux, a French monastery founded in 1098 by a group of monks under the leadership of St. Robert of Molesme. In 1113 Bernard of Clairvaux entered the order and within a very short time it to great prominence. More than 500 new Cistercian monasteries were founded under Bernard, all of which were imbued with the same ascetic spirit. These buildings were all simple, plain and austere. The construction of towers was not allowed. Only a ridge turret was permitted which was used for the bells, and could only project slightly above the ridge. A Cistercian church is therefore generally a low building without any towers or projections. Decorative detail in the interior is largely dispensed with.

The Cistercian monastery at Maulbronn has been preserved almost completely intact.

View the ground plan of the monastery area, Maulbronn.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.