Certosa di Padula; Part I – May 2, 2018 – Padula, Italy
Yes, you read that correctly: Part I. This is going to be a three-part photo essay because I went crazy with the camera in the four plus hours we walked the grounds and buildings.
It was an easy drive that lasted about one and a half hours. As is so typical of the Italian countryside it was beautiful. We arrived, parked in a large parking lot (not typical of Italy) with very few cars and only two or three buses, and set off for the entrance to this UNESCO World Heritage Carthusian monastery.
One of the reasons for all the photographs is this monastery is the largest monastery in Italy. One of the statistics is: 320 rooms and halls – thank god (no pun intended) not all the rooms are open. The oldest portion of the monastery is 450 years old or another way to think of its age is construction began in 1568. Most of the monastery was built in the Baroque style.
If 1568 is not old enough for your enjoyment remember the monastery was founded in 1306. The monastery was dedicated to one of Nancy’s and my favorite saints, Saint Lawrence. He was supposed to have been roasted alive on a griddle iron and is the patron saint for rotisserie owners – you just can’t make things like this up.
Above is the courtyard leading to the cloister and looking at the main entrance.
The main entrance.
Reasonably sure this is Saint Bruno -- note the identifying skull -- and he founded the Carthusian order. (From our book, Saints in Art which has been very helpful.)
When you purchase your entrance tickets in a room like this you wonder what is next.
The first interior courtyard we walked.
As we went from room to room I was always peering out the windows to see what I could see.
One of the gardens for contemplation.
And then there is the gigantic interior yard.
The walkway behind the columns.
The covered walkways and their supporting columns.
The town of Padula looking down on the monastery.
When the monks were not in deep contemplation they were working. The kitchen:
I like the tile colors.
And even in the kitchen there was God or at least frescos representing various religious ideas.
Next post will be photographs of the interior of various rooms and halls. I know you can’t wait!