CARTHUSIAN MONASTERY HISTORY

Monastery of the contemplative order of the Carthusians, begun its construction at the beginning of the XVI century. In its origin it was a very fertile zone, surrounded by orchards and gardens, where the monks could be self-sufficient.

Access to the spacious compass, which leads to a monumental staircase carved with stone from Sierra Elvira. On its façade appears Saint Bruno, founder of the Carthusian order in France, Grenoble in the 11th century.

The Monastery had two cloisters in its origin:

  • The great cloister, where the cells of the monks were as well as their cemetery. This part no longer exists.
  • The little cloister (claustrillo), which is the cloister that is visited today with its magnificent private garden inside. This cloister gives access to the different dependencies: Refectory or dinning room of the monks of this community on Sundays at lunchtime; the Room of Profundis or Room of San Pedro and of San Pablo; Chapter Room of Brothers; Chapter House of Carthusians and the overwhelming Church.

The Carthusian monks have the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and silence. Despite living in community and practicing many activities in common, they live in a deep silence. In the refectory and the chapter rooms they have magnificent canvases by Fray Luis Sánchez Cotán and Vicente Carducho, many of them alluding to the Carthusian foundation and their martyrdoms of the Catholic Monks in the anglican England of King Henry VIII.

They wear a white habit, in fact, the figure of St. Bruno appears many times in the Church with the white Carthusian habit.

The church is a great example of the splendor of the Baroque Andalusian style in the seventeenth century. The High Altar is very remarkable, where the Assumption of the Virgin being appears to be carried to the heavens, with a multitude of angels. The baldaquin was made by Francisco Hurtado Izquierdo, with a marble pedestal inlaid with different colors (red,black and white), and, the upper part, made of wood in covered with layers of gold leaves, very typical technique in this period.

Behind the Virgin baldaquin, there is a little chapel where the Sancta Santorum is situated and the tabernacle. The masterpiece is the marble around the tabernacle with many different colors and inlays. Around this wonderful work art, in the four corners, monastic virtues are located: fasting, meditation, integrity and truth.

Many different artists were able to capture the theatricality of the baroque, creating a unique scenery in this room. Its four corners give way to four magnificent sculptures: San Bruno (the founder of the Carthusian order) and Saint Joseph with the child, Saint John Baptist, and Mary Magdelene penitent.

We can not forget to look at the paintings on the ceiling, highlighting the figure of the founding monk, Saint Bruno, and the paintings of the four evangelists.

Finally, we can admire the sacristy, where the viewer will be visually impacted by the effects of the baroque: combination of different materials and colors, wooden drawers made with inlays of different woods and bones. The use of the light and the shadow is extremely overwhelming.

An illusion is created in the spectator, this illusion characteristic of the Baroque style that surprises us and does not leave anyone indifferent.

Do you want to know more about this magnificent building? Do not hesitate, contract our guided tour of the Carthusian Monastery.

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