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Living with the "Monks"

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CHURCH CHAT: There are celebrity homes, and then there’s the monastery where the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos, the double platinum-selling Monks (Chant and Chant Noel), hang their hoods. But unlike most star domains, this cloister is fast becoming one of northern Spain’s biggest tourist attractions. “(Rooms) are booked through the end of the summer,” says Aimee Gautreau, of the Monks’ label, Angel Records. Short of taking vows, there is only one other way for fans to nab a room at the abbey: A label-sponsored contest will allow winners to visit Santo Domingo and attend vespers and various ceremonies with the chanters themselves. But there is one hitch. “Women aren’t allowed (to stay there),” says Gautreau. “If a woman wins, she’ll stay in a nearby hotel and be taken on a guided tour.”