Charterhouse of Calci

by LaLaItalia

Charterhouse of CalciCharterhouse of Calci (Certosa di Pisa) is in the village of Calci which stands on the slopes of Mt. Pisano in the center of the so-called Val Graziosa . The monastery was founded in 1366 and Carthusian monks lived here until 1972. The building was clearly based on the typical model of the Carthusian monastery; the architects were often the monks themselves, best able to interpret the organizational and religious aspects of life in the Charterhouse. The contrast between hermitism and coenobitic life was represented by two symbolic elements: the cell and the church. The monastery is completely secluded from the outer world and from inside only the silhouette of Monti Pisani can be seen.

One can understand the life of a Monk by viewing large Cloister, a Cell, the Refectory, the Grand-Ducal Apartment, and the apothecary. The Courtyard is flanked by buildings formerly housing the stables, an oil mill, a distillery, a laundry, and a carpenter’s shop.

Since 1981 the Carthusian monastery has housed the Museo di Storia Naturale e del Territorio dell’Università di Pisa. The museums exhibits very ancient mineralogical, paleontological and zoological collections, including some pieces dating back to the 16th century. The museum features also an interesting scientific library.

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