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Lucas Warthen

Churches not only serve low levels of society but also high and everywhere in between. The Fontenay Abbey is an example of this, allowing lay men to join the order (unique to all Cistercian abbeys at the time). Bernard of Clairvaux felt that decorations would detract monks from their heavenly ruminations and the lack of them made the church more acceptable and approachable (the decorations and crossing tower were seen as “ostentatious and excessive”).

Additionally, tapestries were a big part of accessibility during the this era, the Bayeux Tapestry being a perfect example of this. Khan academy states that “The Bayeux Tapestry consists of seventy-five scenes with Latin inscriptions depicting the events leading up to the Norman conquest and culminating in the Battle of Hastings in 1066.” The tapestry is 230 feet long, but without the ability to read Latin most observers could most likely tell what story was being told.