The Certosa di San Lorenzo, also known as the Certosa di Padula, is a Charterhouse located in the Vallo di Diano, in the province of Salerno. It is the first Charterhouse to be born in Campania, and is one of the most important Baroque monumental complexes in Southern Italy, as well as the largest Charterhouse in Italy and among the largest in Europe.
Certosa di Padula History
The Certosa di Padula is one of the most important monastic complexes in Europe and in 1998 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The history of the building begins in 1306 with the foundation by Tommaso Sanseverino count of Marsico and lord of Vallo di Diano. After a few years he obtained all the assets of the Grancia and donated them to the Carthusians of San Brunone.
The most significant changes date back to the mid-16th century, after the Council of Trent: among them the cloister of the guesthouse, the main facade and the Armigeri tower. The interventions of gilding the stuccos of the church by Francesco Cataldi are from a following century.
In 1807 the Carthusians left Padula and the great artistic and book heritage went almost entirely dispersed, with a consequent state of abandonment of the site itself.
During the two world wars the Charterhouse was a field of concentration, as evidenced by the writings in the external courtyard and the paintings on the walls on the ground floor of the staircase.
Since 1957, some rooms have housed the provincial archaeological museum of western Lucania, which collects a collection of finds from the excavations of the necropolises of Sala Consilina and Padula, from prehistory to the Hellenistic period. In 1981, the Charterhouse was entrusted to the superintendence of the architectural heritage of Salerno and the following year saw the start of the first real restoration works that were intended to make the Charterhouse become a tourist-monumental reception site.