Once again, here is the link to the Religious Structure, Christian category
, for anyone who needs it.
This is an extensive list, and only a few immediately stood out to me, either because I've been there or because they are outstanding in architecture, location, or history:
1. Meteora -- Possibly the most visually striking group of monasteries on this list, with a unique defensive location on pillars of rock; I'd love to visit some day
2. Mont-Saint-Michel -- The only visual rival I can think of to Meteora, with its stunning location in a bay on the north of France
3. Sceilg Mhichíl -- This complex off the southwest coast of Ireland exemplifies monastic isolation (well, at least until the Vikings found them)
4. Mount Athos -- This holy mountain in Greece is the spiritual center of the Orthodox Church (but it's only accessible for men)
5. Trinity Sergius Lavra -- This monastery complex northeast of Moscow is the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church
6. Saint Catherine Area -- One of the world's oldest monasteries, at the foot of Mount Sinai
As I read through the reasons for inscription for other sites on the list, I can see why some would be important, and I'd probably add them to the list, too:
1. Abbey of St. Gall -- home to a renowned library, which is one of the world's oldest and richest
2. Maulbronn Monastery -- distinctive example of a medieval monastic complex, and it influenced architecture in northern and central Europe
3. Flemish Béguinages -- highlights the role of women in the middle ages who served God without retiring completely from the world
4. Santa Maria della Grazie -- solely because it is home to Leonardo da Vinci's iconic The Last Supper
There are also monasteries that stood out for their regions, such as Medieval Monasteries in Kosovo (Serbian Orthodox); Monastery of Geghard(Armenian Apostolic); Popocatepetl Monasteries (Catholic, Mexico); Jesuit Missions of the Guaranis (Catholic, Argentina and Brazil); Churches and Convents of Goa (Catholic, India). I just don't know if I would choose any of them if they made it to the list of 400 or so that we are culling down to 200.