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The cloister’s galleries
In the Middle Ages, the galleries of the cloister of Royaumont Abbey all had a specific function. On the north side, the gallery adjoining the church was used for spiritual and liturgical ceremonies such as the “mandatum”: every Saturday, after Vespers, two monks from the kitchen office washed the feet of the other monks. A place for meditation, prayer, and individual reading, the eastern gallery served the chapter house and the sacristy. The gallery to the south led to the boiler room, the refectory, and the kitchen. The gallery to the west closed off the cloister square, but a door provided access to the lay brothers’ alley.
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