Cistercian landscapes

A new look at the impact of the Cistercians on European cultural landscapes

Due to the spread of Cistercian monasteries, landscape and settlement structures are similar in far-flung areas of Europe. They have been markers of a common European heritage  over centuries.

The European cooperation project “Cisterscapes – Cistercian landscapes connecting Europe” brings this network to life again.

From Burgundy, the Cistercians settled all over Europe. They  built monasteries in remote areas, e. g. the solitude of swampy valleys and cultivated the land.  Even today the work of the monks can be traced in many typical landscape features.

Characteristics of Cistercian monastic landscapes

  • an elaborate hydraulic engineering for the supply with and disposal of water to the monastery and for power generation (mills)
  • extensive pond management due to the fasting regulations
  • granges, specialised farmyards with correspondingly large plots of land for agriculture and livestock breeding
  • Large forests for the supply with timber and firewood
  • Viticulture for religious purposes, but also for trade
  • fruit and hop cultivation
  • Town courts as trading branches for the surpluses

All elements can be found here:  https://cisterscapes.geoway.de

Germany:

Austria:

Poland:

Slowenia:

Czech Republic:

The Cultural Landscape Inventories (KLI) of the monastic landscapes are based on uniform recording methods of monument preservation., which serve the comparative analysis of landscape characteristics in the partner sites. The KLIs are available for download here. They each consist of a map, a report and a catalogue of elements.