This article concerns the buildings occupied by monastics.
For the life inside monasteries and its historical roots see Monasticism.
For monastic communities see Religious orders.
in Lake Seliger near Ostashkov, ca. 1910]] of Monte Cassino, originally built by Saint Benedict, shown here as rebuilt after World War II.]] of the monastery of St. Gall in Switzerland, providing for all of the needs of the monks within the confines of the monastery walls.]]Monastery (plural: Monasteries), a term derived from the Greek language word ??????????? (monast?rion), denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer (e.g. an oratory) as well as the domestic quarters and workplace(s) of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone (hermits).Many religions and philosophies have monastic traditions, in which individuals commit themselves to a religious life and live apart from secular society in a monastery.The earliest extant use of