Friday, August 7, 2009

Fountains Abbey (August 7th)

Today we were traveling all day long. We started off the day by leaving York and traveling to fountain abbey. This was absolutely stunning. It was an ancient monetary where “white” monks went to get away from the world. White monks were different that other monks in that they wore all white. Nobody except the people living in the monetary were allowed on the land (except eth exception of a few people who were visiting the hospital). There were the monks and the Laymen. The monks were the ones that could read and they took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The laymen were the workers. They took care of the grounds and they were not literate. They did everything from baking to shoemaking to plumbing. They had to sleep in separate dormitories from the monks and also had to go to church separately. They monks day consisted of church three times a day, writing, and one meal. An interesting fact is that regardless of the number of hours of sunlight they always divided the day into the same number of “hours.” So in the summer time, they would have longer intervals in their “hours” and in the winter they would have the same number of “hours” but they would be shorter. Does that make any sense? So in the summer the sun would rise at about 2 am and set at about 10 pm. In the winter it would get light at around 8 and dark at around 5. one last interesting fact about this monetary is that during the reformation king Henry VIII too all of the metal off the roof and melted it to make guns. This was also a statement made to the church in that he didn’t want to be part of it anymore. It was at that time that the monks were all kicked out of the monetary and since then there has been on catholic monarch. However this is trying to be changed seeing as prince Charles is married to a catholic.

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