Caitlin Dunn EnvDes 543 - Fall 2006 Final Essay #2: The cloister garden sat at the center of the monastery. It was situated to the side of the church, rather than in the front like the Early Christian atrium. The cloister was a colonnaded courtyard, and was reserved for the monks alone. It provided the peace and quiet necessary for contemplation, and was regarded as a kind of earthly paradise removed from the world. The idea of an earthly paradise stems from the very first garden, the Garden of Eden, which Adam and Eve were expelled from. Man has been laboring to recreate the garden ever since. Many of the plants used in the cloister garden represent spiritual figures, such as the lily represents the Virgin Mary and the rose represents Christ. The cloister garden is a square space that is further subdivided into four squares. This idea comes from Genesis, in which the four rivers of Eden divided the Garden of Eden. The divisions between these four squares also form a cross. There is often a circular fountain at the center. The square represents the earthly world, our
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Adam, Adam and Eve, Garden of Eden, Pleasure Gardens, cloister gardens