La Charterhouse of St. Lawrence, also known as the Certosa di Padula, is the largest and among the most famous certosa in Italy, declared in the 1998 World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
It was founded in 1306 from Tommaso Sanseverino count of Marsico and lord of Vallo di Diano, with the supervision of the Prior of the Certosa di Trisulti (Frosinone), where there was a pre-existing monastery. Its structure recalls the image of the grid on which the saint to whom it is dedicated was burned alive. The history of the Charterhouse covers a period of approximately 450 years.
The pre-eminent part is in style barocco and extends over an area of 51.500 sq.m. for which over 320 rooms. The monastero owns the largest cloister in the world (about 12.000 square meters) and is surrounded by 84 columns. To get to library of the convent one runs a large one spiral staircase in white marble.
By virtue of the Certosine rule which provides for work and contemplation, in the Charterhouse there are different places for their fulfillment: the cloister, the library with the floor covered with tiles in ceramics of Vietri on the Sea, the Chapel decorated with precious marbles, the big one kitchen where a legend narrates an omelette of 1.000 eggs was prepared for Charles V, the splendid ones cellars and of fields where agriculture was practiced both for the sustenance of the monks and for the sale outside, with the production of wine, olive oil, fruit and vegetables.
The Charterhouse today hosts the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Western Lucania, where findings from the excavations are collected necropolis of Sala Consilina and Padula, for a period ranging from prehistory to the Hellenistic age.
Viale Certosa, 1, 84034 Padula (SA)
Phone: 0975 77745
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