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03 June 2011

Carthusian Monasteries of Campania, Italy

I've just told you about the Benedictine monastery situating not too far from my home that celebrates it's Millennium this year. This time I'll tell some words about one of the Charterhouses (Carthusian Monasteries) I visited in Naples about a month ago.

The strange name of this monastic orden derives from the name of the mountains in the French Alps (Chartreuse Mountains) where St. Bruno founded his first monastery that had  eremitical and cenobitic life as their rule.

Well, if you visit the monasteries in Campania, Italy, you can deduct that these eremitical and cenobitic life is ...mmm... a little too comfortable. The monasteries are very lavish. They had great communities of persons that served them. The cells are similar to little villas with their 2-3 rooms and personal gardens.

It's the internal garden for the walks of those monks that did not choose the seclusion. The little fenced place is the cemetery where the monks were burried without coffin.

The secluded monks stayed in their "appartments" without seeing anybody. They received their food through the little window in the wall and lighted the candles to show that they are still alive. If the candle was not lighted and the food remeined in the window next day, the monks coould open the door to take and burry the body of their brother.

But these monasteries (those in Campania, that I could visit) are very rich. Maybe, it's because the monks of this order were from very rich noble families and they took good money and treasures with them. It's enough to see this church, for example, if the views of the internal parts were not enough to understand it. I swear, it's a place of incredible and astonish beauty.

:-))) This church was dedicated ONLY for visits of the males. Women were completely excluded. Tthere was a simple little chapel and a very little yard for them from other part of the building of the monastery.

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