Why did the Cistercian Monks Practice Indoor Fishing?

The monastery of the Cistercian monks in the town of Alcobaca, Portugal, was completed in 1222.

During the Middle Ages, it was one of the largest and wealthiest monasteries in Europe. The monks who lived at the monastery did not have to go very far for water or fresh fish.

A branch of the Alcoa River flows directly under the monastery’s kitchen. When the monks wanted fresh fish, all they had to do was lower a net through a hole in the kitchen floor and snare their dinner!