In the early days of the monasteries, all monks or nuns in a monastery slept in a shared dormitory that was only covered with straw (the dormitory). As a rule, only the abbot or the prior had their own bedroom. A staircase led from the dormitory directly into the choir of the church. In this way, the members of the monastery community quickly reached their destination for the nightly prayers. In later times the large dormitory was also divided into individual beds by curtains or wooden walls.
In the Hermit and Semi-Hermit Orders, on the other hand, single cells (Latin cella , small room) were common from the start. In later times, monks and nuns in most orders had their own cells. The term dormitory then referred to the cell corridor of the monastery. In some orders, however, such as the Trappists , the dormitory was retained as a shared dormitory.
- Gabriela Signori : Cell or Dormitory? Monastic visions of space in conflict with ideals . In: INSITU. Zeitschrift für Architekturgeschichte 4 (1/2012), pp. 55–68.
- Austria Central Commission for Research and Conservation of Architectural Monuments, 1856: Mittheilungen der KK Central Commission for Research and Conservation of Architectural Monuments, Volume 1, Verlag Gerold, original from Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, p. 258 ( online )
- Abraham Schalit: Investigations on Assumptio Mosis, BRILL Verlag, p. 165
- "Each one of you should stay in or near your cell, contemplate the law of the Lord day and night and watch in prayer when you are not occupied by other occupations." Rule of the Order of the Brothers of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, 1226
- "Dormitory, n. And adj., Originally a sleeping chamber, especially a room containing many beds where monks or students sleep (1485), in American usage a residence hall at a university or college (1865). From the Latin dormitorium. "@ Wordorigins.org , accessed September 26, 2014