Recreation

The Cistercians cultivated their gardens with an especially great care and these gardens also served as a place for contemplation, relaxation and healing. The monastery garden was a place of peace and meditation where the spirit could ascend to the Creator of nature and man, because the beauty and usefulness of nature are the manifestations of God’s goodness and provident love. It expressed a deep respect for nature and at the same time a spiritual content that rekreaciorepresented a desire to find the lost Eden once again. The building complex of the Abbey of Szentgotthárd was also surrounded by a large garden. Contemporary writings containing a description of the library in the Cistercian monastery make a mention of how reassuring and peaceful feeling it was to look out of the window over the abbey’s garden. The monks, when indisposed or ailing, were often staying and strolling here, finding consolation. In 1832 József Dóczy writes about fruit trees, a „tunnel of hornbeam trees” and a walkway lined with horse chestnut trees. The shaping of the present garden and the planting of the older trees that can still be seen today were probably started at the beginning of the 19th century. Parts of the row of trees around the cloister are still visible on two sides of the monastery garden. The estimated age of the two maple-leafed plane-trees is 200 years, their height is 35 metres. It is thought that they are possessing real healing powers, and it is nature’s energy that emanates from them, making them able to cleanse and fill up even the energy fields of humans.

 

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