Monastic Orders as Vehicles of Diffusion in Europe

Nave of Boyla Abbey, Ireland

During the Middle Ages, the major European monastic orders were the first transnational organizations in the world, establishing an important network of monuments throughout Europe. The undeniable physical impact of their presence on rural and urban landscapes in medieval Europe was accompanied by the role these religious orders played in the diffusion of architectural and artistic forms and techniques, and by extension the construction of a European artistic and cultural history linked to the sharing of a material heritage.