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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. Monasteries are available to all civilizations, except the Armenians and Georgians, which have the Fortified Church instead.

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

Tactics and placement[]

Monasteries primarily serve as a Monk production and upgrade building. If the player intends 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 moves slowly. Also, technologies must be researched at the same time, foremost of which are Sanctity and Redemption. 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 (Devotion, Faith, Heresy) or are supportive for troops (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 a maximum of 10 Relics, constantly producing gold with each one garrisoned. Relics become especially important in games with no teams 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.

As emergency production buildings[]

The Monastery is not a military building, and does not have any prerequisites other than the player being in the Castle Age. This is important for a lot of boom strategies where a Blacksmith and Market are used to get to the Castle Age. Upon reaching the Castle Age, it will be difficult to get out military to defend the player's settlement as they will need to build a Barracks and then most likely also Archery Ranges and Stables before starting to produce unupgraded units. Comparatively, a Monastery can be built, Monks can be produced immediately, and they are instantly fully functional. Combined with a Siege Workshop producing Mangonels, the player will have good answers against attacking archers, Knights, and infantry with minimal investment. With additional walls, the aggressive options left to their opponents are further limited when they can no longer get Eagle Warriors or Scout Cavalry into the player's base.

Non-standard gameplay[]

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 (16 minutes 40 seconds in the in-game clock), similar to when a Wonder is built. If the enemy team(s) fail 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 strong 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 have just one each in order to act as 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
Dark Age
Feudal Age
Castle Age
Imperial Age
Herbal Medicine
Spanish AoE2 Spanish

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. For Monk-specific technologies, see this. The list also includes Fortified Churches, since they function similarly with respect to Monks. This list does not mention Devotion as it is available to all civilizations.

Fully covered by civilization bonus if unavailable
Civilization RedemptionDE AtonementDE Herbal Medicine HeresyDE Sanctity Fervor FaithDE IlluminationDE BlockPrintingDE Theocracy All
Armenians AoE2 Armenians X
Aztecs AoE2 Aztecs X
Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis
Berbers AoE2 Berbers
Bohemians AoE2 Bohemians X
Britons AoE2 Britons
Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians
Burgundians AoE2 Burgundians
Burmese AoE2 Burmese
Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines
Celts AoE2 Celts
Chinese AoE2 Chinese
Cumans AoE2 Cumans
Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians
Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians
Franks AoE2 Franks
Georgians AoE2 Georgians
Goths AoE2 Goths
Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras
Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis
Huns AoE2 Huns
Incas AoE2 Incas
Italians AoE2 Italians
Japanese AoE2 Japanese
Khmer AoE2 Khmer
Koreans AoE2 Koreans
Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians X
Magyars AoE2 Magyars
Malay AoE2 Malay
Malians AoE2 Malians
Mayans AoE2 Mayans
Mongols AoE2 Mongols
Persians AoE2 Persians
Poles AoE2 Poles
Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese
Romans AoE2 Romans
Saracens AoE2 Saracens X
Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians
Slavs AoE2 Slavs
Spanish AoE2 Spanish X
Tatars AoE2 Tatars
Teutons AoE2 Teutons X
Turks AoE2 Turks
Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese
Vikings AoE2 Vikings

Further statistics[]

Hit points Masonry aoe2de Masonry (+10%)
ArchitectureDE Architecture (+10%)
Armor Masonry aoe2de Masonry (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
ArchitectureDE Architecture (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
Line of Sight TownWatchDE Town Watch (+4)
TownPatrolDE Town Patrol (+4)
Build speed TreadmillCraneDE Treadmill Crane (+20%)
Other UniqueTechImperialDE Hussite Reforms (gold cost of Monks and technologies replaced with food, Bohemians only)
UniqueTechCastle-DE Grand Trunk Road (+10% Relic gold production, Hindustanis only)
Civilization bonuses
Hit points Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines (+30%/+40% in the Castle/Imperial Age)
Resource cost Malians AoE2 Malians (-15%)
Build speed Romans AoE2 Romans (+5%)
Spanish AoE2 Spanish (+30%)
Other Burmese AoE2 Burmese (Monastery technologies are 50% cheaper)
Romans AoE2 Romans (+5% repairing speed)
Team bonuses
Research speed Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese (+25%)
Work rate Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians (+20%)
Other Aztecs AoE2 Aztecs (Relics generate +33% gold)
Burgundians AoE2 Burgundians (Relics generate 30 food/min)
Georgians AoE2 Georgians (Repairing costs -25%)


AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of Kings[]

AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

  • Slavs AoE2 Slavs: Can research Fervor.

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Chinese AoE2 Chinese: With update 34699, receive Block Printing; with update 36202, lose access to Redemption.
  • Cumans AoE2 Cumans: Initially can research Redemption. With update 36202, Redemption removed from their technology tree.
  • Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese: with update 42848, Monastery technologies and technologies that benefit Monasteries are researched 30% faster.
  • Teutons AoE2 Teutons: Herbal Medicine added to the technology tree. As a new civilization bonus it is free.

Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals[]


Naturally, each architecture set has its own design for the Monastery. The architectural traits from the real world are:

  • 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. Specifically, it closely resembles St. Paraskeva Church in Ukraine.
  • 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.


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.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings manual


  • 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.
  • For the Definitive Edition, multiple regional Monk models were made and regional Monastery models were conceptualized, but these were not implemented into the game at release, thus becoming cut content.[1] A Tengriist Monastery (planned to be shared by Huns, Cumans, and Mongols) was implemented as the Scenario Editor building Shrine, and the Lithuanian pagan Monastery concept was added to the Scenario Editor and featured in campaigns in Dawn of the Dukes as the Pagan Shrine. An additional Ethiopian monastery concept was a reduced version of the Ethiopian Palace.
  • Devotion is the only Monastery technology that is available to all civilizations.


Video overview[]


  1. Interview documentary by Noclip on YouTube
Buildings in Age of Empires II
Civilian buildings
EconomicTowncenter aoe2DE Town Center · Dock aoe2de Dock · Fish trap aoe2DE Fish Trap · Mill aoe2de Mill · FarmDE Farm · Market aoe2DE Market · Lumber camp aoe2de Lumber Camp · Mining camp aoe2de Mining Camp · Feitoria aoe2DE Feitoria · Folwark Folwark · Ao2de caravanserai icon Caravanserai · AoE2 MuleCart Mule Cart
ResearchBlacksmith aoe2de Blacksmith · University AoE2 DE University
ReligiousAoE2 FortifiedChurch Fortified Church · MonasteryAoe2DE Monastery
MiscellaneousHouse aoe2DE House · Wonder aoe2DE Wonder
Military buildings
ProductionBarracks aoe2DE Barracks · Archery range aoe2DE Archery Range · Stable aoe2DE Stable · Siege workshop aoe2DE Siege Workshop · Dock aoe2de Dock
Fortified productionCastle aoe2DE Castle · Harbor aoe2de Harbor · Krepost icon updated Krepost · Aoe2-icon-donjon Donjon
TowerTowncenter aoe2DE Town Center · AoE2 FortifiedChurch Fortified Church · Outpost aoe2de Outpost · Watch Tower icon AoE2DE Watch Tower · Guard Tower icon AoE2DE Guard Tower · Keep icon AoE2DE Keep · Bombard tower aoe2DE Bombard Tower
WallPalisade wall aoe2de Palisade Wall · Palisade gate aoe2DE Palisade Gate · Stone wall aoe2de Stone Wall · Gate aoe2de Gate · Fortified wall aoe2de Fortified Wall · Gate aoe2de Fortified Gate
Scenario Editor buildings
AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of KingsBridge · MonasteryAoe2DE Cathedral · Wonder aoe2DE Dome of the Rock · Pyramid aoe2DE Great Pyramid · MonasteryAoe2DE Mosque · Pavilion big icon AoE2DE Pavilion · Pyramid aoe2DE Pyramid · Accursed tower aoe2DE The Accursed Tower · Accursed tower aoe2DE The Tower of Flies · Market aoe2DE Trade Workshop · Yurt thatch big aoe2DE Yurt
AoE2-DLCicon-1 The ConquerorsWonder aoe2DE Monument · SeaGateDE Sea Gate · Watch Tower icon AoE2DE Sea Tower · Sea Wall icon AoE2DE Sea Wall
AoE2-DLCicon-2 The ForgottenAmphitheatre aoe2DE Amphitheatre · Aqueduct aoe2DE Aqueduct · Wonder aoe2DE Arch of Constantine · Fortified wall aoe2de City Wall · Amphitheatre aoe2DE Colosseum · Keep icon AoE2DE Fire Tower · Palisade wall aoe2de Fortified Palisade Wall · Castle aoe2DE Fortress · Castle aoe2DE Poenari Castle · Wonder aoe2DE Quimper Cathedral · MonasteryAoe2DE Temple of Heaven · Wooden Bridge
AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African KingdomsBarricade aoe2DE Barricade · Fence aoe2DE Fence · Accursed tower aoe2DE Fortified Tower · 2de granary new icon Granary · Hut small aoe2DE Hut · Wondericon Palace (removed) · Aoe2de storage icon new Storage · Tent small aoe2DE Tent
AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the RajasTent army small aoe2DE Army Tent · Wonder aoe2DE Gol Gumbaz · Wonder aoe2DE Sanchi Stupa
AoE2-DLCicon-5 The Last KhansWonder aoe2DE Aachen Cathedral · Chain aoe2DE Chain · Gate aoe2de City Gate · Wonder aoe2DE Dormition Cathedral · Wonder aoe2DE Rock Church · Wonder aoe2DE Sankore Madrasah · MonasteryAoe2DE Shrine · Wonder aoe2DE Tower of London
Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the DukesAoe2de pagan shrine icon Pagan Shrine
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of IndiaWonder aoe2DE Minaret of Jam