Chilandar was a work of their conception […]

 […] but, like their vineyards, it was all merely an image of another, dreamed-of city. And the cenobites carried that other, celestial city inside them, and in them it was inviolable and did not depend on earthly buildings; rather, they depended on it and were built in its mirror image. The cenobites themselves were the city, and it could be destroyed only by destroying them. Thanks to this city inside them, they ever forgot who they were, and they know they would be the same tomorrow, too…

Landscape Painted With Tea, Book One,
Milorad Pavic