Age of Empires Series Wiki
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This article is about the building in Age of Empires II. For other uses, see Monastery.

Used to create and improve Monks. Garrisoned relics generate gold.
Age of Empires II description

The Monastery is a special building in Age of Empires II that becomes available once the Castle Age is reached. It trains and improves Monks and Missionaries.

Relics can be garrisoned in Monasteries to produce gold. Monasteries cannot be converted.

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.

Blue: Units
Green: Technologies
Purple: Unique units
DarkageDE.png FeudalageDE.png CastleageDE.png Imperial Age
Monk Faithavailable.png
Redemptionavailable.png Illuminationavailable.png
Atonementavailable.png Blockprintingavailable.png
Herbalmedicineavailable.png Theocracyavailable.png

Availability grid[]

The following table shows the availability of the technologies for every civilization. An 'X' in the last column indicates that all technologies are available.

Available.png = Available
Unavailable.png = Unavailable
Civilization RedemptionDE.png AtonementDE.png HerbalDE.png HeresyDE.png SanctityDE.png FervorDE.png FaithDE.png IlluminationDE.png BlockPrintingDE.png TheocracyDE.png All
CivIcon-Aztecs.png Aztecs X
Civ icon bengalis.png Bengalis
CivIcon-Berbers.png Berbers
Bohemians Icon.png Bohemians X
CivIcon-Britons.png Britons
CivIcon-Bulgarians.png Bulgarians
Menu techtree burgundians.png Burgundians
CivIcon-Burmese.png Burmese
CivIcon-Byzantines.png Byzantines
CivIcon-Celts.png Celts
CivIcon-Chinese.png Chinese
CivIcon-Cumans.png Cumans
Civ Icon Dravidians.png Dravidians
CivIcon-Ethiopians.png Ethiopians
CivIcon-Franks.png Franks
CivIcon-Goths.png Goths
Civ Icon Gurjaras.png Gurjaras
CivIcon-Hindustanis.png Hindustanis
CivIcon-Huns.png Huns
CivIcon-Incas.png Incas
CivIcon-Italians.png Italians
CivIcon-Japanese.png Japanese
CivIcon-Khmer.png Khmer
CivIcon-Koreans.png Koreans
CivIcon-Lithuanians.png Lithuanians X
CivIcon-Magyars.png Magyars
CivIcon-Malay.png Malay
CivIcon-Malians.png Malians
CivIcon-Mayans.png Mayans
CivIcon-Mongols.png Mongols
CivIcon-Persians.png Persians
Poles Icon.png Poles
CivIcon-Portuguese.png Portuguese
CivIcon-Saracens.png Saracens X
Menu techtree sicilians.png Sicilians
CivIcon-Slavs.png Slavs
CivIcon-Spanish.png Spanish X
CivIcon-Tatars.png Tatars
CivIcon-Teutons.png Teutons X
CivIcon-Turks.png Turks
CivIcon-Vietnamese.png Vietnamese
CivIcon-Vikings.png Vikings
Civilization Redemption.jpg Atonement.jpg Herbalmedicine.png Heresy.png Sanctity.jpg Fervor.jpg Faith.jpg Illumination.jpg Blockprinting.jpg Theocracy.png All

Further statistics[]

Building strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Nothing
Weak vs. Everything except Monks
Hit points Masonry aoe2de.png Masonry (+10%)
ArchitectureDE.png Architecture (+10%)
Armor Masonry aoe2de.png Masonry (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
ArchitectureDE.png Architecture (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
Line of Sight TownWatchDE.png Town Watch (+4)
TownPatrolDE.png Town Patrol (+4)
Construction speed TreadmillCraneDE.png Treadmill Crane (+20%)
Other Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Hussite Reforms (gold cost of Monks and technologies replaced with food, Bohemians only)
CastleAgeUnique.png Grand Trunk Road (+10% Relic gold production, Hindustanis only)

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


The Age of Kings[]

The Conquerors[]

Definitive Edition[]

  • 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.

Dawn of the Dukes[]

  • Bohemians: Monasteries have a 100 wood discount bonus.

Dynasties of India[]


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.
  • 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, like the Marabouts, Dervishes, and Assassins.
  • In the Definitive Edition, Monastery foundations display an Artifact from Age of Empires, which is seen being buried under. It was originally planned to have a Relic, but it was changed after playtesters found it 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.