La Certosa di Garegnano (also called Charterhouse of Milan) it's a monastero located on the north-western outskirts of Milan, once in open country.
Founded the 19 September 1349 da Giovanni Visconti, bishop and lord of the city, the Charterhouse of Garegnano had the honor, in the summer of 1357, to also host Francesco Petrarch.
The structure, which stood just four kilometers from the city walls of Milan, in the village of Garegnano and was built with the specific intent of allowing the monks who administered it to live in solitary retreat and also pray for the Archbishop who, who also became temporal lord, he could not adequately take care of the ecclesiastical aspects that his role imposed on him.
Work on the construction of the monastery was largely completed by the 1352, although the church officially came consecrated only in the 1367. One of the priors of this Charterhouse was Don Stefano Maconi which, at the suggestion of the wife of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, will be one of the first priors of the Certosa di Pavia. During the fourteenth century, Luchino Visconti made substantial donations to the Carthusian plant to be enlarged and new altars built.
The complex, dedicated to the Madonna, was located inside the Bosco della Merlata, an area very frequented by brigands and bandits who, on the night of April 23, 1449, entered the Charterhouse and carried out raids by seizing gold and precious stones.
In later times the Charterhouse hosted illustrious figures of the religious and political life of the time as San Bernardino of Siena, San Carlo Borromeo e Philip IV of Spain. It remained in vogue until its suppression in 1779. Used as a barracks during the Napoleonic occupation, it was restored to worship with the Austrian restoration. During the nineteenth century it was visited by Lord Byron who was particularly struck by his frescoes which he described in his letter.
The complex is the work of the 1562th and XNUMXth centuries. The abbey church was reworked in late Renaissance style in XNUMX and at the beginning of the seventeenth century it obtained the addition of an atrium with a classical vestibule. The facade of the Charterhouse has mixed modules between Renaissance and Baroque styles composed of many statues, obelisks, friezes and flames. It consists of three orders marked by paired Corinthian pilasters that divide the various niches containing effigies of saints and bishops.
Inside, in the apse area, the ceiling is surmounted by an octagonal lantern, while the whole church (the work of Vincenzo Seregni) has a single nave with a barrel vault and geometric stuccoes. Famous is the pictorial cycle, performed in two stages by Simone Peterzano, master of the famous Caravaggio (1578) and from the big one Daniele Crespi (1629). In the vault, the chapter house preserves a beautiful fresco with Saint Michael, by Bernardo Zenale (beginning of the 16th century).
The chapel of the Annunciation has an altarpiece by Enea Salmeggia and frescoes by Biagio Bellotti
Although the large cloister (destroyed at the time of the Napoleonic secularization) has been mutilated, and lapped by the overpass that connects to the Laghi motorways and Turin Venice, it remains a monument of considerable interest.
Address: Certosa di Milano, Via Garegnano 28 - 20156 Milan
Responsible: Don Giuseppe La Rosa (phone: 02 33498546)