Gallery 006 - Pontaut Chapter House (The Cloisters)
Part of Medieval Art and The Cloisters
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Notre-Dame-de-Pontaut, south of Bordeaux, was founded in 1115 as a Benedictine abbey, but it became a Cistercian monastery in 1151. Much of the abbey's business was conducted in the chapter house, where monks attending daily meetings would sit on the continuous stone bench running along the walls. The walls of limestone and brick are lined with engaged columns, each surmounted by a capital decorated with plant, animal, or geometric motifs. Two freestanding columns support the ribbed vaults above.