|This article is about the building in Age of Empires II. For related buildings in other games of the series, see Monastery.|
|“||Used to create and improve Monks. Garrisoned relics generate gold.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
Tactics and placement
Monasteries serve as a Monk production and upgrade building. If the player is intending to use their Monks for offensive purposes like a Mush (Monk rush) they must have at least three (preferably four) Monasteries since the production of Monks is slow and the unit itself has slow movement. Also, technologies must be researched at the same time, first of all Sanctity and Fervor. If not going for monk rush, it is rare to build more than 1 Monastery.
Some technologies in the Monastery also help against enemy Monks or are supportive for troops (Faith, Heresy, and Herbal Medicine) so it is advisable to also have a Monastery even if the player does not make use of Monks.
Monasteries also have economic relevance. Each Monastery can hold 10 Relics, constantly producing gold with each one garrisoned. Especially in games with no teams Relics become important in the late game, as they are usually the only way left to get gold at all. Often, the player holding the most Relics wins a long game.
Lastly, Monasteries can be of key importance in any game with standard victory condition. If a team holds all Relics in their Monasteries, a counter starts to count down from 200 years, similar to when a Wonder is built. If the enemy team (or teams) fails to ungarrison at least one Relic before the counter reaches zero, the game is won. If a team goes for a Relic win, it is advised to garrison all Relics in a single Monastery and massively defend that Monastery with defensive structures and heavy units, preferably ranged units, heavy cavalry, and siege equipment. In any case the defenses should be built before the last Relic is garrisoned. Ideally, the opposing team does not even notice the effort and is left surprised. This victory condition may also serve as a distraction against the rival team if the team has several Monasteries holding Relics: one Monastery (usually the best defended) can hold most of them and the others just one in order to become dummies.
If the game mode Capture the Relic is chosen, every player starts the game with an indestructible Monastery and attempts to garrison the only Relic (which is sitting in the very center of the map at the game start) in their Monastery. The first player to achieve that wins the game.
Trainable units and technologies
Clicking on the icon links to the corresponding page.
The following table shows the availability of the technologies for every civilization. An 'X' in the last column indicates that all technologies are available.
|Building strengths and weaknesses|
|Weak vs.||Everything except Monks|
|Hit points|| Masonry (+10%)|
|Armor|| Masonry (+1/+1, +3 building armor)|
Architecture (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
|Line of Sight|| Town Watch (+4)|
Town Patrol (+4)
|Construction speed||Treadmill Crane (+20%)|
|Other|| Hussite Reforms (gold cost of Monks and technologies replaced with food, Bohemians only)|
Sultans (+10% Relic gold production, Indians only)
- Aztecs: Monks gain 5 HP for every researched Monastery technology.
- Bohemians: Monasteries cost -100 wood.
- Burmese: Monastery technologies are 50% cheaper.
- Byzantines: Monasteries have +30%/+40% HP in the Castle/Imperial Age. Town Watch and Town Patrol are free.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Monasteries and Monastery technologies are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Italians: Masonry, Architecture, and Treadmill Crane are 33% cheaper.
- Lithuanians: Knights Leitis gain +1 attack for each Relic garrisoned in a Monastery (up to ).
- Malians: Monasteries are 15% cheaper.
- Persians: Researching Town Watch and Town Patrol is 10%/15%/20% faster in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
- Portuguese: Monks cost –20% gold. Monastery technologies and technologies that benefit Monasteries are researched 30% faster.
- Spanish: Monasteries are built 30% faster.
- Teutons: Herbal Medicine is free.
- A team containing Aztecs: Relics generate 33% more gold.
- A team containing Burgundians: Relics generate food as well as gold.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Monasteries work 20% faster.
- A team containing Malians: Researching Masonry, Architecture, and Treadmill Crane is 80% faster.
The Age of Kings
- Heresy introduced.
- Herbal Medicine introduced.
- Theocracy introduced.
- Spanish: Missionary introduced.
- Teutons: Cannot research Herbal Medicine.
- Chinese: With update 34699, receive Block Printing; with update 36202, lose access to Redemption.
- Cumans: Initially can research Redemption. With update 36202, Redemption removed from their technology tree.
- Portuguese: with update 42848, Monastery technologies and technologies that benefit Monasteries are researched 30% faster.
- Teutons: Herbal Medicine added to the technology tree. As a new civilization bonus it is free.
Naturally, each architecture style has its own design for the Monastery. The architectural traits from the real world are listed below.
- The Western European Monastery has a distinct Gothic style, similar to Cistercian abbeys like Aberconwy, Medmenham, and Fountains Abbey in Britain.
- The Central European Monastery has some Romanesque traits and is almost identical to Gelati Monastery in Georgia. It is also very similar to the Lessay Abbey in Normandy, France.
- The Middle Eastern Monastery has traits of late Egyptian Mamluk architecture. The dome resembles the one found on the Qaytbay mosque in Cairo. The mosque's entrance however is a trait commonly seen on Timurid mosques in Central Asia.
- The East Asian Monastery is a generic Japanese shrine combining elements from both Shinto shrines (Torii gate) and Japanese Buddhist temples (Bonshō bell).
- The Native American Monastery is a short Mesoamerican pyramid similar to the Temple of the Sun in Palenque.
- In the HD Edition, the Eastern European Monastery is mostly just a copy of the Central European one, but with some features based from the church of Akos and St. John's Church in Malbork. The Definitive Edition's Eastern European Monastery is based on Eastern Orthodox churches instead.
- In the "Forgotten Empires" mod version, the Monastery is loosed based on the Dormition Cathedral of Moscow.
- The Southeast Asian Monastery resembles buildings in the Angkor Wat temple complex.
- The African Monastery is based on the Larabanga Mosque.
- The Indian Monastery is based on the Konark Sun Temple.
- In the HD Edition, the Mediterranean Monastery features architectural elements of both Gothic and Romanesque architecture, a combination commonly found in northern and central Italy. The Definitive Edition's version has a more Early Renaissance style based on Santa Maria Novella in Florence.
- The Central Asian Monastery has the typical features of a mosque. It has a similar entrance to Timurid mosques such as Herat and Bibi-Khanym.
- During development, the Monastery was at one time planned to be available from the Dark Age and to have more than one sprite, like other buildings. Besides the temple, it would also have evident housing and working areas for the Monks.
- In real life, both Islam and Zoroastrianism (the pre-Islamic Persian religion) condemn monasticism and have neither monks nor monasteries, at least in theory. However, loosely similar movements arose in Islam in the Late Middle Ages, including the Marabouts, Dervishes, and Assassins.
- In the Definitive Edition, Monastery foundations contain an Artifact from Age of Empires. It was planned to have a normal Relic from the game in its place, but playtesters found this confusing.
|“||Monasteries were closed religious communities to which particularly devout priests, scholars, and believers withdrew for a life of prayer, study, and service. Monastic life was embraced by several religions, including Christianity and Buddhism. Residents of monasteries became known as monks. In parts of Dark Age Europe, monasteries were the only remaining centers of learning. Irish monks, for example, were instrumental in preserving much ancient knowledge and spreading it back into Europe as the Dark Ages waned. Over time monasteries grew rich in donated land. They became very important local institutions as a source of educated men who could serve as administrators. They also provided health care and emergency relief from their stockpiles of food.||”|
|Buildings in Age of Empires II|
|House · Monastery · Wonder|
|Economic||Town Center · Dock · Fish Trap · Mill · Farm · Market · Lumber Camp · Mining Camp · Feitoria · Folwark|
|Research||Blacksmith · University|
|Barracks · Archery Range · Stable · Siege Workshop · Castle · Harbor · Krepost · Donjon|
|Tower||Outpost · Watch Tower · Guard Tower · Keep · Bombard Tower|
|Wall||Palisade Wall · Stone Wall · Fortified Wall · Palisade Gate · Gate|