Charterhouse Monastery Museum Calabria ~ Romancing Italy

Sep 23, 2009

Charterhouse Monastery Museum Calabria

Serra San Bruno is the home for one of the many Carthusian monasteries throughout Europe. The monastery itself is not open to the public, but the museum gives a glimpse of life through the ages for monks of this order.

Brief History of Serra San Bruno

The first hermitage was built in a valley of the French Chartreuse Mountains thus giving its name to the Charterhouse order. Saint Bruno came to Calabria in 1091 and built his priory in a town called Torre dell'altipiano, Tower of the High Plains (Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter jumped to mind). In the fourteenth century the name of the town was changed to "Serra" during the reign of Ferdinand of Aragon, and "San Bruno" was added to better describe the town and to honor the founding father of the Carthusian House.

The Museum in Photos

Two old towers delineate the space devoted to the Charterhouse Museum

An example of early documented music

The entry to the U-shaped museum

Woodwork in the chapel

A typical living unit or cell

The Oratory of the Cell
"... At the sound of the bell, all pray at the same time, so that the whole Monastery becomes a single act of praise to the glory of God."
Wall plaque

Early woodworking table and tools (left) and loom

Incredible inner workings of a large clock. Truly a time machine!! Imported from Grenoble

The shadow of the woman gives you an idea of the size of the clock. The face is so tiny compared to the inner workings which also mechanically master the ringing of the bells. Still working to boot!

A photo of a photo as I am not allowed inside to see the grounds. The newer portion is built after the French Gothic style. Click here for more on the history of the priory

This photo taken with me standing on tip-toe on the edge of a raised flower bed from across the street. Still can't see a thing

When this gigantic door opened to let in a woman who had made an appointment, a crowd quickly formed. The sliver of light behind the robust monk didn't reveal much. I admit though, HE was much more interesting than the building that remained a secret behind him.

Open all year
April to September: 9:00 - 1:00; 3:00 - 8:00
October to March: 9:30 - 1:00; 3:00 - 6:00
Website (Italian)
0963 70608

Links to sources:
Carthusian Monastery of Serra San Bruno
Filcoo, Serra San Bruno


Of the "40 Charterhouses existing in Italy, this is one of two that are still inhabited by friars."


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