M 1: The murmuring falls silent. The twelve canons have gathered in the room. Provost Isfried opens the meeting with a reading from the Rule of the Premonstratensian Order. Then he recites a chapter from the writings of Saint Augustine. The name of this space is actually derived from that custom of reading chapters: it’s called the chapter house. The community of canons is known as the “collegiate chapter”. Isfried has called them together today to take a decision of major importance to Jerichow collegiate foundation. An agreement to purchase of land for the growing of rye is finally to be signed. But there’s disagreement. Some of the canons believe the purchase price is too high. So there’s a lively discussion – until finally, everyone agrees and Isfried declares the chapter closed.
F 2: Everything that was of importance to Jerichow Monastery was decided here in the chapter house: Economic, financial and legal matters were discussed here, along with issues relating to the religious life. But the canons would also assemble in here whenever their communal lives came under pressure due to internal or external conflicts. The significance of the chapter house for the life of the community is evident from its elaborate architecture. Typical features of a chapter house include the vaulted ceiling and the way it’s divided into two by the central columns. The archaic design of the capitals tells us that this room dates back to the 12th century and was one of the first to be built.
Foto: © Stiftung Kloster Jerichow