cellar

Period: gothic

As the foundation storey for the refectory, the cellar provides a generous storage space. Its dimensions match the refectory above. A row of six short octagonal piers divides the cellar into two vessels of eight bays each. At the ends, the walls end in two enormous barrel-vaulted arches supported in the middle by two long rectangular piers. These arches form, at the same time, large storage niches and transverse supports that help to stabilize the structure. The lateral walls also opened in a series of shallower storage niches. Today, the cellar floor is beaten earth, as it probably was in the middle ages, but the circulation level was lowered in the 1950’s.

In the fourth bay, beginning from the north, a wide staircase connects the cellar with the abbey's outer court. This large stair provided access for delivery of supplies and foodstuffs. A series of caves, or vaulted storage chambers, are located under the great cloister and under the southern end of the abbey outer court, and also extend under the conversi building to the southwest.

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