This unsurpassed survey offers a fresh chronicle of a largely overlooked subject and hundreds of marvellous images, many of them newly photographed, of more than 150 of the most interesting and best preserved monasteries in Spain, Portugal, France, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Italy - all of which are accessible to visitors. Here are unique views of the art and architecture of such treasured places as Mont St. Michel, a wondrous Benedictine sanctuary off the coast of Brittany, and the fabled pilgrimage site in Assisi founded by St. Francis.
In an insightful text the author describes the cultural heritage of each of the monasteries portrayed and provides an introduction to monasticism and to the various orders dating from the early Christian era to the present. In addition, the volume offers plans of the sites, a glossary, and a bibliography. Historians and collectors of great books of art history will be intrigued by this unsurpassed collection of photographs and fascinating account of the artistic glory of European monasteries.