/ab"ee/, n.
1. Edward, 1927-89, U.S. novelist and nature writer.
2. Edwin Austin, 1852-1911, U.S. painter and illustrator.

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Complex of buildings housing a monastery or convent under the direction of an abbot or abbess, serving the needs of a self-contained religious community.

The first abbey was Monte Cassino in Italy, founded in 529 by St. Benedict of Nursia. The cloister linked the most important elements of an abbey together. The dormitory was often built over the dining hall on the eastern side of the cloister and linked to the central church. The western side of the cloister provided for public dealings, with the gatehouse controlling the only opening to the outer, public courtyard. On the southern side of the cloister were a central kitchen, brewery, and workshops. The novitiate and infirmary were housed in a building with its own chapel, bathhouse, dining hall, kitchen, and garden. In the 12th–13th century, many abbeys were built throughout Europe, especially in France.

The ruins of Fountains Abbey, a Cistercian monastery founded in the 12th century, near Ripon, North ...

Andy Williams
(as used in expressions)
Abbey Edward

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▪ religious architecture
 group of buildings housing a monastery or a convent, centred on an abbey church or a cathedral and under the direction of an abbot or an abbess. In this sense, an abbey consists of a complex of buildings serving the needs of a self-contained religious community. The term abbey is also used loosely to refer to priories, smaller monasteries under a prior. In England, since the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, all that remains in many cases is the abbey church, now simply called an abbey; Westminster Abbey is the best known example.

      Monasteries originally developed in the Middle East and Greece from the earlier streets of hermits' huts, or lauras. Walls were built for defense, and the cells were later constructed against the walls, leaving a central space for church, chapels, fountain, and dining hall, or refectory. This Eastern type of monastery can be seen at Mt. Athos in Greece.

 The first European abbey was Montecassino (see Cassino) in Italy, founded in 529 by St. Benedict of Nursia (Benedict of Nursia, Saint), who wrote the order that formed the basic foundation of monastic life in the Western world. His plan for an ideal abbey was circulated (about 820) to orders throughout Europe, and abbeys were generally built in accord with it in subsequent centuries. The cloister (q.v.) linked the most important elements of the abbey together and also served the monks for their contemplative meditation; it was usually an open, arcaded court, surfaced with grass or paving and sometimes with a fountain in the centre. The side adjoining the nave of the church had book presses and formed an open-air but sheltered library. The dormitory was often built over the refectory on the east side of the cloister and was linked to the central church by a “day-stair,” which led to the arcaded cloister and so into the church, and by a “night-stair,” which led directly to the church. The church assembly room, the chapter house (q.v.), was often attached to the chancel near the eastern side of the cloister.

      The western side of the cloister provided for dealings with the outside world. There was the almonry (almonry school), for example, where gifts of money or clothing were made to the poor, and guest rooms, lay brothers' quarters, cellars, and stables. The abbot's rooms were near the gatehouse, which controlled the only opening to the outer courtyard, where the general public was permitted. On the south side of the cloisters were a central kitchen, a brewery, and workshops for smiths, enamelers, coopers, shoemakers, and saddlers.

      An important building within the inner walls housed the novitiate and the infirmary. In the manner of an early isolation hospital, it had its own chapel, bathhouse, refectory, kitchen, and garden. The doctor's house, with its physic garden of essential medicinal herbs and with small sickrooms, was nearby.

      Buildings for the intensive agriculture practiced by most orders were to the south of the other buildings.

 In the 12th and 13th centuries, many abbeys were built in England, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Austria. In France the monastic movement flourished to a greater extent than in any other country. Perhaps the most remarkable abbey was established by the Benedictines on the rocky island of Mont-Saint-Michel (q.v.) in 966.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Abbey — (englisch Abtei) bezeichnet: Abbey (Familienname), siehe dort für Namensträger Abbey ist Ortsname von: Abbey (Devon), eine Gemeinde in Devonshire, Vereinigtes Königreich Abbey Dore, eine Gemeinde in Herefordshire Abbey Green, eine Gemeinde in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Abbey — Ab bey ([a^]b b[y^]), n.; pl. {Abbeys} ( b[i^]z). [OF. aba[ i]e, abba[ i]e, F. abbaye, L. abbatia, fr. abbas abbot. See {Abbot}.] 1. A monastery or society of persons of either sex, secluded from the world and devoted to religion and celibacy;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Abbey — • A monastery canonically erected and autonomous, with a community of not fewer than twelve religious; monks under the government of an abbot; nuns under that of an abbess Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Abbey     Abbey …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • abbey — [ab′ē] n. [ME abbeie < OFr abaie < LL(Ec) abbatia, ABBACY] 1. a monastery headed by an abbot, or a convent of nuns headed by an abbess 2. the monks or nuns in such a place, collectively 3. a church or building belonging to an abbey SYN.… …   English World dictionary

  • Abbey —   [ æbɪ], Edward, amerikanischer Schriftsteller, * in Arizona 29. 1. 1927, ✝ Tucson (Arizona) 14. 3. 1989; einer der bedeutendsten Vertreter der neuen Literatur des Westens in den USA; knüpft an die Tradition der naturverbundenen Cowboys an, die… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Abbey — Nom anglais désignant celui qui habite près d une abbaye, éventuellement celui qui y travaille. Variante : Abbay …   Noms de famille

  • abbey — (n.) mid 13c., convent headed by an abbot or abbess, from Anglo Fr. abbeie, O.Fr. abaïe, from L.L. abbatia, from abbas (gen. abbatis); see ABBOT (Cf. abbot) …   Etymology dictionary

  • abbey — *cloister, convent, nunnery, monastery, priory …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • abbey — [n] building that houses monks, nuns, or priests; church cloister, convent, friary, ministry, monastery, nunnery, priory, temple; concepts 368,439 …   New thesaurus

  • abbey — ► NOUN (pl. abbeys) ▪ an establishment occupied by a community of monks or nuns. ORIGIN Old French abbeie, from Latin abbas abbot …   English terms dictionary

  • Abbey — An abbey (from Latin abbatia, derived from Syriac abba, father ), is a Christian monastery or convent, under the government of an Abbot or an Abbess, who serves as the spiritual father or mother of the community.Some cities were ruled by heads of …   Wikipedia

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