Spread of Cistercian monasteries 11th 12th century

In many posts proof of the direct relationship between the Cistercian monastic Order and the Order of the Knights Templar is documented. Therefore there may be a regional relationship also betyween the development os Cistercian and Templar sites. This blog focusses on the spread of Cistercian monasteries.

The start of the Cistercian Order preceded that of the Knights Templar only a few decades, it stood at the same region in north-eastern France and held the same actors related to local noble families, with a pivotal role for the court of the Earl of Champagne at Troyes. Therefore, information on the onset of the Cistercian order will be added to this site.

To start with a few maps, dealing with the origin and spread of Cistercian Abbeys. The proto-Cistercian Abbey of Molesme and the first real Cistercian Abbey of Citeaux were offspring of the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny. The Cistercians splitt off from the Benedictin order aiming for more strict observance of The Rule of St Benedict, because they thought the Benedictine Order was not anymore following this Rule strictly enough.

At first glance it van be seen that the Cistercian Order developed much more internationally than the Cluniac Order. In the same way the Order of the Knights Templar developed as a real multinational organization, be it that at the time the concept of nation states was not yet established, and the international framework was much more a network of interrelated (by family or marriage) princedoms. Compare with the spread of the Knights Templar on our maps tab.

Location of Clunaic and Cistercian monasteries in Europe c. 1200-1300 source

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