Declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 together with the archaeological sites of Velia and Paestum, the Padula Charterhouse, or San Lorenzo, is among the most interesting abbeys for architectural magnificence and number of artistic treasures, as well as being the first monastery to be raised in Campania. It is one of the most sumptuous baroque monumental complexes in southern Italy, the largest Italian Charterhouse and among the largest in Europe.
It occupies an area of 51,500 m² and has 3 cloisters, a garden, a courtyard and a church. Since 1957 it has hosted The provincial archaeological museum of western Lucania, where many archaeological finds are found in the Valle del Tanagro, a tributary of the Sele River, such as tombs, tombstones, statues, capitals and columns.
History of Certosa di Padula (Padula Charterhouse)
The construction of the Charterhouse began in 1306 by the will of Tommaso Sanseverino, Count of Marsico and Lord of the Vallo di Diano, and continued with extensions and renovations until the nineteenth century.
The most significant transformations date back to the mid-sixteenth century. Seventy-eightare the gilding work of the church stuccoes by Francesco Cataldi. In the eighteenth century, however, They have made frescoes and transformations of use of existing environments. During the two world wars, the monastery was used as a prison camp.
Padula Charterhouse’s structure
On the lobby, closed between the service areas, we can see the great baroque facade. You can access the church through a Renaissance carved wood door. Decorate the altars in scagliola, the refined polychrome ornaments with pearl lining, the majolica floor and inlaid choruses.
The Library, a vast environment that preserves the majolica floor and ceiling decorations, housed tens of thousands of books and manuscripts, Nowdays it remains just a small part in Charterhouse, about two thousand volumes.
As crossed the threshold, we faced the helical ladder leading to the library’s antechamber. It is a stone staircase, connected by a curb made in the same steps, culminating in a stone balustrade. The double ramped elliptical staircase combines the two levels of the great cloister.
Close to the ancient cemetery, which later became a cloister, there is a chapel where the founder of the Charterhouse dated from the 16th century is located.
The Procurator’s cloister has a fountain in the center and a bunch of ancient Doric columns in the ambulance. The Great Cloister began in the eighteen century and ended in the following century.
Declared a National Monument in 1882, the Charterhouse was taken over by the Superintendence for the Architectural Heritage of Salerno and in 1982 the restoration work has begun making it one of the most evocative and important monuments of Campania.
How to reach Certosa di Padula
By car from Paestum: Take A2 / E35 to Eboli from Via Magna Grecia / SP276, SS18 Tirrena Inferiore and then take the A2 / E35. Take the Buonabitacolo-Padula exit from A2 / E35. Follow Via Nazionale / SS19 and Strada Provinciale 51b / SP51b towards Viale Certosa in Padula.
Tickets and timetables of the Charterhouse
From Monday to Sunday: 9:00 – 19:00
Closed on Tuesday
Ticket 4 €