Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.


unroofed space forming part of a religious establishment and surrounded by the various buildings or by enclosing walls. Generally, it is provided on all sides with a vaulted passageway consisting of continuous colonnades or arcades opening onto a court. The cloister is a characteristic part of monastic institutions (see abbeyabbey,
monastic house, especially among Benedictines and Cistercians, consisting of not less than 12 monks or nuns ruled by an abbot or abbess. Many abbeys were originally self-supporting. In the Benedictine expansion after the 8th cent.
..... Click the link for more information.
), serving both as sheltered access to the various units of the group and for the recreation of the monks. Cloisters became an important architectural form in the 11th cent., a period marked by active monastery building all over Europe. They were not limited to monastic houses, but were built in some English colleges, as at Oxford and Eton, and in some churches, mostly in England and Spain. In N France many of the original cloisters have disappeared, but superb Romanesque cloisters remain in S France, Italy and Sicily, and Spain. In the typical examples the arches are supported by delicate columns, generally coupled, the elaborate capitals of the paired columns sometimes being interlaced. The 13th-century cloisters of two Roman churches, St. John Lateran and St. Paul's outside the Walls, are notable Romanesque examples, distinguished by twin spiral columns inlaid with rich glass mosaics. Of the Gothic period, the English cloisters are especially fine, as at Salisbury, Wells, and Westminster Abbey. The Renaissance cloisters are confined chiefly to Italy and Spain. In the New World the Spanish colonists began in the 16th cent. to build simple cloisters, generally arcaded, in Mexico, Cuba, and California.


A square court surrounded by an open arcade, a covered walk around a courtyard, or the whole courtyard.


A covered walk surrounding a court, usually linking a church to other buildings of a monastery.


1. a covered walk, usually around a quadrangle in a religious institution, having an open arcade or colonnade on the inside and a wall on the outside
2. a place of religious seclusion, such as a monastery
References in periodicals archive ?
Mollimar alley - between Mollimar and Regal Road from Stratford Drive to Cloister Way
Cloister Avenue will be closed between the junctions with Fenwick Avenue and Capulet Grove from February 10 until March 10, and Capulet Grove will be closed to traffic at the junction with Cloister Avenue between March 3 and March 21.
The cloister itself at St Martin's was revamped recently and is now a glassfronted entrance area.
On a wooded hill overlooking the Hudson River, though, the Cloisters Museum is not only a surprise, but a real breath of fresh air in one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world.
Precisely aligned on an east-west axis, the two-storey cloister with its sunken garden is the exclusive domain of the monks.
A private resort and real estate development company founded in 1926, Sea Island Company today owns and operates Sea Island Resorts, featuring two of the world's most exceptional destinations: the Forbes Five-Star Cloister at Sea Island and The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club, a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond property.
Rose walker, for example, examines the remains of the cloister of Las Claustrillas in Las Huelgas in Burgos.
Members of the council's cabinet are today discussing the plans to sell the former upper school building in Cloister Way and former lower school building in Park Road, along with caretaker's bungalow in Cloister Way.
At this period of history, the cloister was the rule for religious women who took solemn vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and enclosure.
Cloister glazing opened an even richer new field for these glass painters, in which narrative systems--placing one scene after another sequentially--reached a peak of popularity.
Cloister, who had won the 1893 Aintree National carrying a record weight of 12st 7lb, and who won in a record time and a record distance of 40 lengths, won the Welsh equivalent in 1896 before a crowd of 40,000 race-goers who had turned up to see Cloister take on the 1892 Aintree hero Father O'Flynn.
159) of the Journal of the British Archaeological Association contains 10 essays on the medieval cloister in England and Wales, seven of which were drawn from a conference held at Rewley House, Oxford, in April of 2004.