I suspect that some of my readers are growing weary of my slow stroll through Roman churches. Let us step outside for a little fresh air, before my final post about the altar. A good place to get outside is the cloister. For churches which were affiliated with a monastery, the cloister severed as the location for the munks or nuns to grow herbs, fruit, and other food for their order. Thus an outdoor space was essential.
To provide protection from the elements, especially the sun in a Mediteranian climant, the open area was usually boardered by a covered portico. This also provided a place for the munks or nuns to stroll, contemplate and pray. Mosaics, carvings, and sculpture may have been placed around the portico to facilitate reflection and rememberance of their purpose. Maybe even longing for an Eden type garden could be evoked by walking around and working within the cloister. For the rest of this post, to nurture the weary, I shall include some photos from our own gardens. Drop by for a stroll. Nature is the the main art work here.