24 Jul 2013

Italy: higher up the mountain: Certosa di Trisulti (3)



view from the church and palazzo courtyard.

Even though the Charterhouse of Trisulti is located in a remote, wooded location it has been possible for many years to visit it on foot because of the mountain tracks across the area.  In fact, the name 'trisulti' derives from three nearby mountain passes in the region. A castle belonging to the noble Colonna family also stood near the monastery.
Today, many visitors come to see the frescoes and other artwork in the old pharmacy, but as well as being a retreat house for seminarians the monastery serves the local people of the Collepardo area and there are services in the adjoining church.  On the day we were there a baptism was taking place. There's also an ancient ecclesiastical palace, a library of antiquarian books and a collection of the types of herbs used in medicinal remedies and alpine plants that can be found in the Abruzzi mountains. The monastery shop sells liqueurs, herbal preparations, honey, chocolate, literature and souvenirs similar to those at the sister Casamari Abbey.


Visitors enter the monastery through the towered Tuscan-style portico with its marble plaque in relief of St. Bartholomew, the patron saint of the Certosa.


Many of the frescoes in the monastery were painted by Filippo Balbi (1806-1890). The one over the inner door of the entrance portico depicts the Virgin and Child giving the bread of providence to a monk and others hand provisions to children.



Mr. P. rested on the steps of the pharmacy and I went inside.  The light was variable so the results of my photographic efforts are mixed.



The top frescoes are the more well known ones.  On the top left is a painted door depicting, I believe, F. Balbi's serving boy and the other is a caricature of 'poverty' and 'egotism'.


In the salon/waiting room every wall is covered in paintings and over the two arched doors are those depicting events in the life of Balbi.



There are other paintings in the hall decorated with 3D artificial tropical trees, poetic sayings and a long cased clock with a face that has eyes that must have moved from side to side when it was working. I remember years ago there was a huge stuffed eagle at the end of the corridor and a live one in a cage in the grounds, but probably something that the community wouldn't want to display or keep these days.
  


This is the pharmacy with its original cases of medicine jars and bottles.  Even the doors and window shutters are beautifully painted. 






As you can imagine, the collages represent only some of the details in the old pharmacy and there are other areas of the monastery complex also of interest.  Finally, we visited the monastery shop to buy some gifts for my husband's family such as this herbal digestive drink.




16 comments:

  1. I love this post Linda - the pharmacy with its glorious paintings in right up my street. The history, the legends, the symbols of good and bad, and then the old pharmacy itself, still operating, with I believe, a monk behind the counter.

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    1. You are right, Rosemary. A Cistercian community of monks now live in the monastery as the Carthusians handed it over to this religious foundation after WWII.

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  2. That pharmacy is just too wonderful for words! x

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  3. Such finely painted details...one can't imagine the hours and hours all of this took the artist (s) Love the pharmacy jars!

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  4. What a beautiful place.... it also seems very peaceful. Jx

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  5. i could spend hours just looking at all the paintings on the walls and the furniture. ilove those windows with the grates over them.. and the arches and the view and the whole thing is magnificent.

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  6. Beautiful frescoes and fabulous artwork. What a wonderful trip to this monastery and the pharmacy you must have had.
    Patricia x

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  7. Thanks for sharing the beauty (and history) of this monastery with us.

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  8. The pharmacy looks wonderful inside. I think I'd have spent ages gazing at the wall paintings and those beautiful old bottles and jars. I love the plant in the courtyard is it an hypericum of some kind? We have one in the garden with similar yellow flowers and berries but much smaller than the one in your photo:)

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  9. What a beautiful monastery Linda. A wonderful post and your photos are amazing.

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  10. Gorgeous photos of the monastery, Linda.... Glad to know that a Pharmacy is a Pharmacy!!!! ha..... Love reading the history of this gorgeous place.. wow... Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  11. Forgot to say that I LOVE old clocks... That clock you pictured is awesome...
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  12. What a fantastic post, the pics are amazing....loved the tour.xxxx

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  13. It is just awesome. So beautiful are the paintings and even the pharmacy jars sitting on the shelves. Walking through the garden to arrive at the pharmacy is quite beautiful too.

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  14. What an incredible place!

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  15. What marvellous decorative work, Linda, but it somehow seems a long way from the austere simplicity i associate with the Carthusians. I think art just comes naturally to Italians. :-)

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