Feast Days: Bernard of Clairvaux (August 20)

This is a major one for architecture: St Bernard is one of the great architectural thinkers in Christian history. The Cistercian monasteries following from his theories established the place of simplicity in church architecture. They are what I point to when trying to explain the concept of "noble simplicity." The Cistercians, the form of Benedictine monasticism founded by St Bernard, continue to build some of the finest churches in Christendom. Collectively they represent a significant example of how to build in the present in continuity with the past. This is tradition without traditionalism.

One of the best examples of contemporary Cistercian architecture is Our Lady of Dallas. While not dedicated to the saint of the day, it illustrates his architectural principles brilliantly and it is always a joy to see.

cistercian sanctuary by _jjph, on Flickr

cistercian corner by _jjph, on Flickr