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The Boston Globe

Travel

Cambridge monastery offers unexpected sanctuary

When you walk along Memorial Drive, the monastery of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist appears insular, closed off behind tall fences. But open a small side gate and the place surprises at every turn and every entryway.

Perched on prime Charles River real estate, on the edge of Harvard Square, the monastery offers unexpected sanctuary. Thick, stone walls muffle traffic noise and create an architecturally-inspiring place. The blend of Italianate and Romanesque design, the arches everywhere, evoke an older time and place. And most unexpected, the monastery is vibrant and engaged with the world outside.

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