Photographer's Note

When I traveled through Portugal, I have visited many monasteries and within them a lot of cloisters. This was actually one of the linguistic learnings for me. In Polish language the word "klasztor" means monastery, convent or priory. Similarly in German there is the word "das Kloster", translating also as monastery. So I was quite surprised that the word cloister was used there in a very narrow sense, applying to a very specific part of the monastery. I think it is the same in Portuguese and English.

Wikipedia of course explains it all:
A cloister (from Latin claustrum, "enclosure") is a covered walk, open gallery, or open arcade running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth. The attachment of a cloister to a cathedral or church, commonly against a warm southern flank, usually indicates that it is (or once was) part of a monastic foundation, "forming a continuous and solid architectural barrier... that effectively separates the world of the monks from that of the serfs and workmen, whose lives and works went forward outside and around the cloister."

Cloistered (or claustral) life is also another name for the monastic life of a monk or nun. The English term enclosure is used in contemporary Catholic church law translations to mean cloistered, and some form of the Latin parent word "claustrum" is frequently used as a metonymic name for monastery in languages such as German.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7261 W: 106 N: 19136] (73344)
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