Talk:Proposed features/monastery

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Don't reuse type=*

The key type=* is used to indicate the type/kind of a relation. It's a bad idea to use type=* in a different context (although this has been done in some other cases).
It would be better to use a construct like monastary=<monastary-type> or monastary:type=<monastary-type> or monastary_type=<monastary-type>. --EvanE 15:15, 3 June 2011 (BST)
Thank you for picking up my suggestion. --EvanE 13:22, 8 June 2011 (BST)

Just use monastery=*. Don't use *:type=* at all. It's a useless and meaningless suffix. --- Kovposch (talk) 06:38, 10 July 2022 (UTC)


How about expanding religious_rank=* to other objects like the cathedrals of a bishop/archbishop? This will require additional values. There might be additional vaues for non-christian religions. --EvanE 13:22, 8 June 2011 (BST)

Good question... It's a long time I ask myself about mapping Catholic dioceses. And I'm not sure that a territorial mapping is relevant for other Christian organizations nor non_Christian. --FrViPofm 21:16, 20 June 2011 (BST)
Good suggestion EvanE, which values could we use? If I look here, there are lots of different kinds of bishops: --Dieterdreist 15:59, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
There could be other values for this, too, including priory, grand_priory, and, if the tag is also used historically, grange. -- HillWithSmallFields 08:59, 23 Feb 2012 (BST)
religious_rank=* sounds too verbose and general. Following the deprecation of monastery:type=* aforementioned, this could be monastery:rank=* first, if we can't think of anything for cathedrals and other features. Abbey and archabbey are specific to monasteries.
Aside from *=priory, canonry=* should fall in here as well if it's a rank in the church? Rather than monastery:type=* or monastery=*.
--- Kovposch (talk) 06:48, 10 July 2022 (UTC)

How to handle monastery no longer in use

How can you tag objects which are known to have been a monastary in former times and are still recognizable as former monastery? It might be necessary to distinguish between other usage today, not in use at all and ruins. --EvanE 13:22, 8 June 2011 (BST)

They mus be tagged using the tag building=monastery for the architecture, the tag history=monastery for its history (maybe also the tag heritage=*


You probably mean historic=monastery. --Fkv 09:22, 22 September 2012 (BST)

Communities not in monasteries

I'm in a community that is not in a monastery. I know that in my Order some houses are asked for long as monasteries (Monastère de Cimiez), but it is not usual. A lot of women (and also of men) religious communities are not in monasteries, living in flats, apartments, common houses. Not sure that they are amenities...

For the same reason, I would prefer the tag community than operator . I've started using the tag community [1], I still not have written a proposal, only a draft. I think I will continue with this tag. In that way, the tag would describes the community living somewhere ( a node inside a building=apartment), or the community living in the monastery.

Maybe the tag 'amenity=monastery' as described in the proposal could be uses on big structures, like relations type=site...

--FrViPofm 21:16, 20 June 2011 (BST)

FrViPofm, yes, of course the amenity=monastery tag can be used on relations of type=site or on big polygons enclosing a monastery. For what you want to tag in this paragraph ("Communities not in monasteries"), I'd suggest you to invent another tag (and to which many of the proposed subtags here might be applicable as well). --Dieterdreist 16:31, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
How do we label communities that are not formally registered as orders within a denomination, such as the Maltfriscans (Maltby Franciscans)? Or ecumenical communities, such as Taizé? -- HillWithSmallFields 09:25 23 Feb 2012 (BST)
The Taizé Community is already tagged : w32516224 b j. You can tag the Maltfriscan communities as community=Maltfriscans if they are several, or community=yes+name=Maltfriscans for a unique one. --FrViPofm 11:13, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Why amenity?

I would not describe a monestary as an "amenity" and this tag is already ridiculously overloaded. I would stongly suggest not trying to pile even more on to it if we're coming up with a new tag anyway. Maybe religious=monastery or something? ToeBee 22:40, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

+1 !
Well ! As a Friar Minor, I'm living in a community. I'm not a monk. Most of religious friars and sisters are in communities that are not in monsteries, but in convent, houses, appartments. The list given in my draft gives a lot of such communities, such as Jesuits, Dominicans, Assumptionists.
I understand the need of a way to tags big structures like monasteries. But if the aim is to tag the complex the relation type=site is right for that. And in the proposal, the part about the site=monatery is, IMHO, the most interesting, with the building typology.
Operator sounds strange a monastery or any convent. I'm not operating my house. I live in it.
If the aim is to tag the community living there, what about community=* that would become a proposal in a few time, and that is already used ~300 times ?
Having a relation site=monastery|convent|priory with a tag community and members well done (building typology, landuses...) is enogh to describe a monastery.
--FrViPofm 00:07, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Found on Wikipedia : Monastery (plural: monasteries) denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer (e.g. an oratory) as well as the domestic quarters and workplace(s) of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone (hermits). According to that, we should tag distingtively, as monastery : the site (complex of building), or the building, as community : the community... --FrViPofm 11:13, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I think that amenity=* is ok, because it is a place of worship and should therefore be tagged as amenity=place_of_worship. This, however, implies that *=monastery can not be within the amenity=* key. What's wrong with building=monastery? We already have building=chapel, building=church, and building=cathedral. Of course, a monastery can consist of a couple of buildings, walls and the space in between. But that's the same problem as for castles. historic=castle doesn't apply for all castles, as well as historic=monastery probably doesn't apply for all monasteries. (I don't know any monastery without a historic background, though. Maybe historic=monastery indeed suffices?) Therefore, I think that we should't make up something for monasteries without solving the castles problem as well. --Fkv 10:02, 22 September 2012 (BST)
I think the best idea is to remain in amenity=place_of_worship that would help to gather logical ontology. I'm wishing the same as healthcare=* something specific for religious acting like worship=* --JLZ (talk) 16:24, 3 July 2022 (UTC)

Further land use, and enclosure

For thoroughness, perhaps we should have landuse=garth?

For "enclosure" (in the sense of an area private to the community), not all monasteries have a physical barrier; there may simply be signs indicating that the area is private. Also, not all of the monastery may be within enclosure: there may be public areas. I think there should be a separate way of indicating this, possibly using the access=private tag. -- HillWithSmallFields 09:08, 23 Feb 2012


I deeply regret that the tag 'community' is using abbreviations which need an external source for interpretation. This is not the usual approach in OSM where tags content should be self-explanatory. This is also inconsistent with related tags like "religion" and "denomination". --Pieren 13:14, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree that I also have a small problem with this. The list is from FrViPofm (and I think it is quite good, besides the abbreviations). I would not mind to use long terms for this (we could also expand those already tagged if there is consensus). --Dieterdreist 03:34, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
But will you be more at ease with ordo cisterciensis strictioris observantiæ (for Trapists), ordo fratrum minorum, Societas Jesu (for Jesuits), that are official names ? OK... I have to make a community preset for JSOM, but you have to fullfil the table for the different tongues ;-)
--FrViPofm 11:13, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Here it is User:FrViPofm/Community/Presest. Tell me what you think about. --FrViPofm 15:22, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I too dislike it. I imagine it can be eg community=religious first, to allow this be used in other features. This allows community:name=*, community:ref=* or community=short_name, and community:wikidata=* for the full name, abbreviation, and identifier.
An alternative might be brand=*. This may look strange, but I have seen it already used on university campuses, education, government, institutional, community, and other non-businesses features. This enables integration with NSI.
Besides, organizations in Key:denomination#Christian_denominations could be possibly be cleaned up (cf its operator=* suggestion). If there is no conflict between church and monastery organization. --- Kovposch (talk) 06:54, 10 July 2022 (UTC)

Looking at 360° into the whole world

I see this debate as too Western World-centered, as if there are not religious sites in other parts of the world. What about the buddhist pagodas and monasteries, and what about the sufi communities, khanquah (arabic) and tekke (turkish)?

Ones has to keep in mind there are many kinds of communities, (see the expression "community center").

From my point of view, there are two types of place to be described :

  • Places designed for hosting a private religious community. Could be a monastery, but it has to be extended to similar temples in Thibet or elsewhere. Some of them have to tagged as "historic" or "heritage"
  • Private places of worship, and for the abbeys or convents, they can have a public place of worship depending from them.

Ones have only to distinguish a place of worship supposed to be open to a public of believers and often to non-believers and a private place of worship.

The first ones are amenities and the second ones are not.

What about :

Community could be used for others types of "private places of hosting".

--Ch. Rogel 22:56, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

I understand your concern, but i think that the name "monastery" is widely used in many religions and is not special to any religion. --Jakubt 23:20, 11 April 2012 (BST)

I agree that the proposed values have been created for the context where I am mapping (Italy and Germany), but I tried to propose keys which are not only fitting for the christian religion. Please feel free to extend the proposal to other religions (or better make a proposal with values for another religion on a different page and link it from here in order this does not become too long). --Dieterdreist (talk) 09:37, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Building tagging

I do not think it is a ggod idea to use tags like building=refectory for individual buildings. Some of the proposed terms have very specific meaning within the monastery and will never be supported by rendererers outside monastery. I think it is better to tag monastery as a relation (aka site) and then give the buildings roles according to its usages as these roles have only meaning in the context of the whole monastery. And thanks for starting this proposal, althought I think it needs some work, I am happy that someone is interested in tagging monasteries. --Jakubt 23:03, 11 April 2012 (BST)


I think the amenity=monastery should be rethought. To me this tag is somewhat hybrid. First of all it omits the widely used term place_of_worship which is convenience for all religious places/things/sites. Acording to usual logic, it should rather be tagged as amenity=place_of_worship + place_of_worship=monastery. Another difficulty with amenity=monastery is that amenity is used for anything which offers a service to wide public, but then you

  • either use the tag for touristic places, hospitals etc, which offer (arguably] more service for public and are mostly not the living ones
  • or use it only for living monasteries, but then the amenity tag is doubtful and place_of_worship is much more apptopriate.

To add to all this i think, that it is very useful to think about widening the scope of the proposal to dissolved monasteries as well with only slight change in tagging. Most of the monasteries in Europe ARE dissolved, so by not including these you cut the significance of your proposal by magnitude of several orders. For example in Germany there is more then hundred Cistecian monasteries, but only 13 living ones.

--Jakubt 23:19, 11 April 2012 (BST)

I disagree that "place_of_worship is convenience for all religious places/things/sites", IMHO it is a tag for a place of worship, i.e. a spot where worshipping takes place. In a big structure like a monastery there would be even several distinct places of worship, not to be confused with the monastery as a whole. --Dieterdreist 18:30, 19 September 2012 (BST)
amenity=place_of_worship is the big potential overlap. Very well established tag obviously. Lots of maps & apps showing where churches are, but they're not going to know about this new tag.
But "several distinct places of worship" makes sense. So then I think it's important to stress, in the "how to map" information, that there would normally be at least one amenity=place_of_worship within or attached to a monastery.
-- Harry Wood (talk) 10:23, 4 July 2022 (UTC)


@Jakubt : I'm not very skilful in English, but I think you make a confusion between cloister, that is an architectural part of a monastery or convent (en French : Cloître) and enclosure that is the private part of the monastery or convent that is not accessible to people (in French : Clôture). In my convent, there is no cloister, but there is and enclosure, even if this enclosure in not as strict as in a monastery. So we can use building=cloister for the... cloister. --FrViPofm 17:42, 14 April 2012 (BST)

Hi FrViPofm, it is nice that you raise this, because we have been talking about this few hours ago with my friend who is studying history of Cistercians monasteries. We know that it is difficult and we do not know what is the right answer in English, because Czech and German terminology is quite different. In detail:

Czech German French English explanation and notes tags
Rajský dvůr ? Kreuzganghof *Cloître ? cloister Rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries. building=cloister + wall=yes/no (a cloister can be closed by windows...)
Křížová chodba Kreuzgang *Cloître ? cloister Galleries surrounding open space (see above) landuse=grass if needed
Konvent ? Konventgabaude *Couvent (not in a monastery) ? All buildings for monks, excluding church. (but little convent can have a little chapel integrated in it. building=monastery/cloister
Klausura Klausur *Clôture Clôture Any space in monastery which is not accessible by non-monks. access=private
Konvent ? Konvent *Communauté Community of all monks in monastery. community=* (see User:FrViPofm/Community

In fact i think that the solution might be, that cloister is not very good term, because it does not have exact meaning. Can you help us to find information about correct terms missing in my table? I would be happy to find ceneral term for first three lines in the table, because they might be useful for many monasteries. --Jakubt 20:18, 14 April 2012 (BST)

(* added by me) There is no problem in tagging. building=cloister is building ! So it is the galery and not the open space. And the cloister (open space) is the open space inside a building=cloister, the inner in the multi-polygon--FrViPofm 23:46, 19 September 2012 (BST)


I would suggest to use community:gender=male and community:gender=female together with community=* for the operating community (i agree that the operator is not good tag). --Jakubt 21:02, 14 April 2012 (BST)

One should probably also add something like community:gender=mixed or should this be the default? --DLichti (talk) 16:23, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

building=religious house

What about the tag like religious house, buildings like not distinctive in the environment? Only a few nuns or monks lives in this building.