I was inspired to learn more about the religious institutions of medieval times after watching Cadfael ~ a mini-series about a mystery solving monk in Britian during medieval times.
I found this series to be really fascinating. The mix of story and documentary worked well. My favorite one was about Thomas Becket of Canterbury which was quite an epic tale. I often associate Britian with Protestants the spirit of the reformation, that I often forget it was very Catholic beforehand. These documentaries really captured the spirit of the times well, and I only wanted to see more - and understand how the influence of the church and its expression varied throughout Europe.
I came out feeling smarter and more intrigued about the nature of these times!