Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Certosa di Firenze

It is Saturday and off we go to Certosa di Firenze (or Certosa di Gallazzo depending upon whom you ask), a Monastery nearby Florence originally financed in the 14th Century by a rich businessman so that the monks (of the Carthusian order) would pray for his sins. It was to be a silent order, so I'm not sure how successful this was.

There was one hall where the monks were allowed to speak out loud, only once a week.
I also managed to capture on film one of these rare monks in the wild (actually they are allowed to speak these days).

The monks lived in cells located around the main cloisters shown above, the Chiostro Grande. These cells were meant to be cramped and uncomfortable but to me they looked quite spacious with a nice little garden and views out over the country-side.

Apparently, until the place was looted by Napoleon in the 19th Century, the monastery housed around 500 important works of art. We were shown a number on our tour, but obviously this must be greatly diminished from the original collection.

Being a Monastery, the most exciting thing to happen on the day was a wedding, of which everyone excitedly took photos.

Lastly, I'm sure Linda would be upset if I didn't mention the gift store where you can buy various religious paraphernalia and locally-made mint-flavoured spirits as well as, most importantly, chocolates and boiled lollies.

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