on the ground floor
The monastery of the Carmel of Lisieux was built according to the plan wanted by Saint Thérèse of Avila, founder of the Discalced Carmelites. It consists of a quadrilateral around a courtyard whose center is a crucifix. A cloister goes around this courtyard and allows to reach all the common rooms which are on the ground floor:
- The choir of the Carmelites where they spend their times of prayer together, which opens at right angles to the chapel open to the public, separated by a gate;
- The refectory where they take their meals, next to the kitchen;
- The recreation room where the sisters meet to talk, called the “chauffoir” because it is the only room heated by a fireplace in the monastery with the infirmary.
- The wing of the sick infirmary with a room where the seriously ill sister was installed, the infirmary in which Thérèse spent her last weeks and died.
Upstairs are the cells. Above an attic in which the laundry is hung to dry.
Individual cells are not heated. They include a bed (trestle with boards and a mattress), a stool, a pitcher and a toilet bowl, an oil lamp, an hourglass, a sewing kit and the book of the Rule and customs.