Book Description: This remarkable volume is the most comprehensive examination to date of the art and architecture of european monasteries, featuring an authoritative text and more than 500 stunning, full colour photos. European cultural history is inextricably linked to the presence of monasteries, especially during the Middle Ages. In addition to serving as religious refuges, monasteries provided sanctuary for the pursuits of art, education, science and book production. This lavishly illustrated book traces the development of the art and architecture of these important buildings, from early Carolingian examples in the eighth century to a modern structure by Le Corbusier in 1960. 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. 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.