The Carthusian monastery of Granadathe Royal Monastery of Our Lady of the Assumption of the Charterhouse In the “official” version, it blew our minds off. You might think that in a city with wonders like the Alhambra with its Nasrid Palace or the cathedral and the tomb of the Catholic Monarchs there would be no more places at its height. Well, there are. In fact, at its height or even higher, because the baroque beauty of the Charterhouse of Granada we expected it until less…
Do not forget to “move away” from the center to discover this madness of decoration. Starting with the floor of the outer compass and ending with the sacristy, passing through the church, its tabernacle and the rest of the areas, the Carthusian monastery of Granada It was one of the highlights of our visit to the Nasrid capital.
Get ready, that outer wall hides a baroque explosion that comes to excite. Our hairs still stand on end remembering our entrance into the church…
The visit to the Charterhouse of Granada It is a must in the city and would suffice as a reason to travel there. But, since you’re thinking of going, how about completing the trip with the rest of the places to see in Granada What do we recommend?
The Charterhouse of Granada: opening hours, prices and tickets
Let’s start with the practical information for the visit to the Charterhouse of Granada. After going, we already have confidence and we can stop calling it the Royal Monastery of Our Lady of the Assumption of the Cartuja.
What are your opening hours? The Charterhouse is open every day of the year. The schedule is from 10:00 to 17:30 from Sunday to Monday and from 10:00 to 12:15 and from 15:00 to 17:30 on Saturdays.
How much is the entrance fee? The entrance fee to the Charterhouse of Granada is € 5. There are discounts for groups and students. Children up to 12 years old do not pay. You can download an app with audio guide on your mobile with your ticket.
Where to buy tickets? You can buy tickets directly at the box office of the Carthusian monastery of Granada, but you can also do it online, from your web.
Free visits to the Charterhouse of Granada
Although you will not find it anywhere on its official website, you can also visit the Carthusian monastery of Granada for free. When? Thursdays from 3 pm to 5 pm. Of course, you have to book before in the web of the Archdiocese of Granada – you can also Visit the rest of the Christian heritage for free booking here: Sacromonte Abbey, Royal Chapel, Cathedral and Monastery of San Jerónimo.
How to get there from the center of Granada: buses
Keep in mind that, as we have said before, the Charterhouse of Granada is not what is said in the heart of the city. We are talking about just over two kilometers from the Cathedral of Granada –Holy and Apostolic Metropolitan Cathedral Church Basilica of the Incarnation of Granada, if we get precise–. A little less than half an hour walking at a good pace following the indications of Google Maps.
If walking is not your thing, you can also get there by public transport with bus line U2 to the stop Paseo de Cartuja – Monasterio de Cartuja. Lines U1, U3 and 8 also stop near the building. The tourist train of Granada It also stops at La Cartuja.
Did you know…?
Do not be confused, although in Granada there is a neighborhood called Cartuja, the Monastery of La Cartuja is not in it. It is located in the neighborhood of Cercado Bajo de Cartuja, in the district of Beiro.
The Carthusian Order
Before we talk about the history of the monastery, do you know what the Origin of the Carthusians? The Carthusian order emerged in the eleventh century, Preaching simplicity and poverty In front of the RiquEza and the earthly power that was reaching the church. It was not the only one, also at that time the Cistercian order appeared with the same idea. Of course, over the years they were moving away from their precepts … there is nothing more than visit the Charterhouse of Granada to see that simplicity and poverty are conspicuous by their absence.
Did you know…?
The word “Charterhouse” comes from the name of the Chartreuse, a massif located in France, north of Grenoble. It was there that St. Bruno, one of the founders of the order along with St. Hugh, established the first place of retreat.
A little history of the monastery
The origin of the Monastery of the Cartuja of Granada is in Madrid, specifically in Rascafría. The monks of the Monastery of Santa María de El Paular They decided to found a new convent in 1459. From there, they arrived in Granada at the end of 1514 and Don Gonzalo Fernández de Córdova –the Great Captain–, as benefactor of the new monastery, gave them two estates at the top of the Aynadamar hill. Things did not end well when the monks changed the location and the Great Captain decided to disengage, after getting quite angry.
The works resumed in 1516 and lasted for three centuries. Actually, it’s not that they ever came to an end. The Mendizábal’s confiscation expelled the monks in 1835 and, years later, the cloister and cells were destroyed. The monastery went up for sale and was bought by a speculator whose sole purpose was to take advantage of the building materials. He dismantled the kitchen and pantry and when the minister was informed of the outrage, he accelerated the work to take advantage while making a decision. The decision was to declare the church and the cloister Artistic monument in 1851.
For a century, the rest of the buildings in the complex were rental homes that were left to “die”. Until, in the mid-twentieth century, the house of the prior and the east gallery of the cloister were demolished due to their poor condition, as well as cells that still resisted.
The Jesuits took charge of the conservation in 1949 and the restoration works began, being declared Asset of Cultural Interest in 1985.
The visit: what you will find inside
We have already warned, the wall that surrounds the Carthusian monastery of Granada is rather austere, almost as if it wanted to protect the jewels inside from curious looks. It seems that he tried to discourage passers-by, so that only those who know what he is hiding are encouraged to enter. You have to cross it, no doubt.
How? Through a Plateresque façade of the sixteenth century which gives access to the compass of the monastery. That atrium or fish market retains a Granada cobbled floor of the seventeenth century. Yes, even the least striking details are works of art. Go with your eyes wide open. In front of the cover of the wall, is the façade of the church, neoclassical style of the late eighteenth century, at the top of a Double marble staircase. From there begins the baroque party … do you dare?
Behind that cover is the Cloister, the center of the monastic dependencies. From there you can access the refectory, the produndis room, the lay chapter, the chapter and the church. And we have to say that it does not prepare you for what is coming either: columns without reliefs, semicircular arches and a lot of sobriety. But there is a catch: the paintings that decorated it today are in other rooms.
The refectory and the profundis room
In the Carthusian order, it was only eaten in community on Sundays and feast days, the rest of the days the monks ate in their cells. Despite its “little use”, the refectory It is a room that gives an idea of the power of the monastery. In addition to the architecture itself, the paintings are also worth a look. Most are works by Fray Juan Sánchez Cotán, who entered as a Carthusian in 1603 being already a recognized painter. The cross above “The sacrament” is a trompe l’oeil. Yes, it is a painting.
In the Profundis Room It was where the monks prayed before meals and the psalm. De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine, hence the name, during the suffrages of the dead. Here are exhibited more works of Fray Juan Sánchez Cotán.
The Legos Room and the Chapter House
The Lego Room is the oldest part of the Charterhouse of Granada, built between 1517 and 1519 in Gothic style. If you think that this ribbed vault is a bit exaggerated for a room of laymen – especially in an order that preached simplicity and poverty – you are right: it was originally used as a church. Remember we said the cloister was decorated with paintings? Well, here we saw a few of them, from the seventeenth century.
Rincon Jump with Me
In the cloister, between the laymen’s room and the chapter house, was the access to the cloister of the monastery, disappeared after the confiscation. It was a huge cloister of 53 meters long and 76 arches, in its center there were palm trees, willows, myrtles and cypresses, in addition to the tombs of the brothers.
The Chapter House It is of Renaissance style, going from the ribbed vault of the first section to the barrel vault with coffers in the last. Here there are also more paintings of the cloister. But what caught our attention the most was the model of the Charterhouse of Granada at its peak in the center of the room.
More than a century the construction of the church. On paper it is as simple as it “should”: a single ship divided into four sections.
But, when we looked inside, it became clear to us that poverty is over. If the paintings had already given us clues in the previous rooms, in the church, in addition to Pictures There are the Bars separating the faithful from the laymen and the laymen from the monks, the decoration of the edge vault, the chairs of the Choirs –one of laymen and one of monks–, the Stuccosthe Niches With saints…
We had to go out to the cloister to take a breath before we could continue, we do not tell you more. And, behind the golden temple with Baldacchino in the center of the presbytery, is the Sancta Sanctorum, the Tabernacle.
The Baroque madness at its finest. That’s the tabernacle of the Charterhouse of Granada. It is small, but it cannot be said that it is not well used: there is not a square centimeter without some kind of decoration. We are not sure if San Bruno would have agreed: marbles of different colors, sculptures, paintings, canopies, curtains and gilding more typical of a theater than a tabernacle.
And the Tabernacle in the Center. Everything has a meaning and we recommend that you install the audio guide on your mobile to, at least, read it. It is impossible to remember everything, but it is the perfect excuse to spend more time in front of that wonder and look for its details.
Did you think that we had already hallucinated everything we had to hallucinate in the Carthusian monastery of Granada? Error! The sacristy. More baroque, is war! And more marbles – white on the top and reddish on the plinth – stuccos, paintings…
The construction of the sacristy began in 1732, after finishing the tabernacle. It is the culmination of the style. He thinks that it also has a nave and four sections, like the church. The windows They let through all the light that did not reach the rest of the dependencies of the monastery. The vault is decorated with Fresh instead of the edges of the rest of the rooms. The furniture –drawers, cupboards and entrance door– was also designed with the room itself. Everything is in its place and everything fits with a good taste that anyone would say is impossible when looking at each piece separately.
You know what awaits you behind that bland wall. Do not let it take away your desire to enjoy the most baroque baroque you have ever seen.
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Artículo publicado en saltaconmigo.com