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 only four kilometers from the city walls of Milan, in the village of Garegnano and was built with the specific intent to allow the monks who administered it to live in solitary retreat and pray also for the Archbishop who, also became temporal lord, he could not adequately look after 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 inserted inside the Bosco della Merlata, an area very frequented by bandits and bandits who, on the night of 23 1449 penetrated into the Charterhouse and made raids taking possession of gold and precious.
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 the deletion in the 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 a work of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The abbey church was reworked in late Renaissance forms in the 1562 and at the beginning of the seventeenth century it obtained the addition of an atrium with a classical vestibule. The facade of the Certosa presents forms intermixed between Renaissance and Baroque styles composed of many statues, obelisks, friezes and flames. It consists of three orders marked by twin 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 (by Vincenzo Seregni) has a single nave with a barrel vault and geometric stucco. Famous is the pictorial cycle, executed in two times 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 mutilated of the great cloister (destroyed at the time of Napoleonic secularization), and lapped by the flyover that connects to the motorways of the Lakes and the Venice of Venice, remains a monument of considerable interest.
Address: Milan Charterhouse, Via Garegnano 28 - 20156 Milan
Responsible: Don Giuseppe La Rosa (phone: 02 33498546)