Charterhouse of Pisa
Historic Building and Museum in Pisa
The Charterhouse, established in 1366 with the generous support of prominent Pisan families, is nestled among the olive trees of Valgraziosa, standing somewhat isolated from the town of Calci, approximately 1 km away. The complex offers a picturesque perspective view with its double facade. The outer, lower facade served functions accessible to the local residents, housing the pharmacy, the chapel of San Sebastiano or the chapel of the women, the parlor, and a spacious green lawn area, separated from the main courtyard. At the heart of the complex stands the magnificent facade of the monastery itself, showcasing the stunning church covered in white marble, featuring a double flight of steps and a captivating tympanum adorned with the statue of the Assumption surrounded by angels.
Originally a cloistered monastery belonging to the Carthusian order of San Bruno, the Charterhouse faced suppression during both the Napoleonic era and under the rule of the House of Savoy. Despite these challenges, it was later re-inhabited by the monks until 1969 when they ultimately left for good. Today, visitors have the opportunity to explore certain areas dedicated to the hermit’s life within the Certosa, including the grand cloister where the 15 monks’ cells are arranged, with one cell open for visitation. Additionally, the tour encompasses religious spaces such as the church, chapels, refectory, and chapter hall.
One highlight of the Charterhouse is the sacristy, which houses the extraordinary Atlantic Bible, a beautifully illuminated manuscript from the twelfth century spread across four volumes. The monumental part of the visit concludes with the Grand Ducal guesthouse, the guesthouse cloister, the picture gallery, and long corridors adorned with exquisite fresco decorations.
Notably, the Certosa also houses the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa, occupying primarily the former service rooms of the monastery, including the grand granary measuring approximately 100 meters long, the oil mill, the laundries, and service courtyards used for agricultural activities. The Charterhouse is a treasure trove of history, art, and culture, offering visitors a unique and enriching experience amid the serene surroundings of Valgraziosa.
The Charterhouse of Pisa appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Pisa!
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Visiting Charterhouse of Pisa
From Tuesday 16 August to Sunday 4 September:
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays: accompanied tours at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11.30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m.
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