The National Museum of Certosa di San Martino
o Charterhouse of St. Martin/Naples is situated on a breathtaking point called Hill of Vomero, on the top of the city of Naples, Italy. The museum is a gem of baroque art with its church equipped by marbled intarsia of the master Cosimo Fanzago. You will find in the Certosa di San Martino, Naples a lot of outstanding masterpieces of the 16th and 17th century of the former monastery and its cloister. Visit the collection of the baroque court: Complex of the monastery with the picture gallery, carriages, mangers of the royal family, warships, as well as the treasures of rarity and a collection of ancient maps.
Enjoy the spectacular view over the city and the Bay of Naples!
You like baroque art? Combine history with your holiday and discover Naples and the national museums with your private Tourist Guide and City-dweller!
Opening-hours of the Certosa di San Martino, Naples:
8:00 a.m. to 8:00 pm.
Tuesday closed, 1st Sunday in the month free entrance.
Price: € 6 Adults, € 3 reduced (18 to 25 for members of UE), for all children under 18 years free
* price may change, according to the special exhibitions!
Link to National Museum Certosa di San Martino (only italian available)
The history of the Certosa di San Martino, Naples:
“Ora et labora – Pray and work” was the theme of the chartreuse monks of San Martino, ancient French monastic order, founded by Saint Bruno in 1170. Charles I., duke of Calabria and son of the king of Naples- Sicily, Robert of Anjou commissioned in 1325 the monastery-complex.
High over the middle-aged city, close to the castle San Elmo, the monks found the perfect place for their contemplation. The church of the charterhouse is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, St. Martin of Tours and all saints.
Only the best masters and architects of the Gothics where chosen: Tino di Camaino, Atenaso Priario and Francesco di Vito. Obviously the complex was often restored in the course of history, there are only few traces form the ancient Gothic stile.
Naples was always a metropolis. Certainly there was a vigorous concurrence between the monasteries and churches of the city, not only in the baroque! The prior (superior of the monks) ensured to find the best master builder for the renewed monastery: After the death of the Architect Giovanni Antonio Dosio in 1609 follows Gian Cosimo Conforto and finally he presents Cosimo Fanzago from Bergamo to the monks. We admire still now a days his works!
Sculptures and Artists of the Certosa of San Martino, Naples:
Cosimo Fanzago completed the building site in only three decades with the best sculptures-team of Europe! A product of the competition between them: Michelangelo Naccherino, Pietro Bernini (Father), Giovan’ Battista Caccini and last but not least the master himself: Cosimo Fanzago and his incredible marbled marquetry.
Certainly you will find as well the best painters of the 16th and 17th century, contemporaries of Caravaggio (Michelangelo Meresi) like Giovanni Battista Caracciolo and Jusepe De Ribera, Massimo Stanzione, Guido Reni e Lanfranco, all of the studio of Luca Giordano. In one sentence: The National Museum San Martino hides History, Art and, by the way, an amazing point of view over the city!
Importance of the Certosa di San Martino, Naples:
Perfection of the baroque Architecture!
Naples was the capital of the reign Naples-Sicily and the seat of the government till 1860. Most of the rulers of Naples, like the Vice-kings in the renaissance-time, and the Kings in the age of baroque, attracted the most popular artists of their world. Certainly sauntered the court and pretended the Best of their masters. Naples harbor was the most important in the reign. Trade and voyagers crossed in the overfilled streets, ships from all over the world brought their passengers and merchandise. Money turned around!
The religious orders prospered everywhere: Jesuits, Franciscans, Clarisse’s, Theatines as well as Dominicans placed their monasteries everywhere on the trade marks. The Charterhouse had to be a special! Art and architecture had to be the top!
Learn more about the history of the Certosa di San Martino and the city of Naples
with your private Tourist Guide. Discover the live of the monks in the Certosa di San Martino!
During our visit se will see the monk’s cells where they slept and preyed, decorated with art-effects of several ages. The rooms face the splendid Cloister, enriched by the most precious marble. In the center of the court-yard is still know a days to admire the water-well which was enormous important to be independent. The common Dining hall was called Refectory, in the Parlatorium the nuns and monks could receive guests and talk with them, while in the Capitols hall was hold the meeting of the monasteries community. Obviosly the church was the perfect frame to celebrate the functions.
You will be astonished by the view of the cells! Remind, the second born of the High-society where obligate to become nun or monk. See it as a carrier in the several Orders, which increased the power of the important aristocratic families. When the firstborn had to care about the possessions of the family, the second born had to deal diplomatically with the clergy and the pope.
Admiring the Tavola Strozzi you will have the opportunity to discover in an lightly, amazing way the history of the Monastery and the city of Naples and its art effects.
Admire the high-lights of the Monastery and National Museum Certosa di San Martino:
- Church, Parlatorium, Capitals hall, and Refectory hall with the art gallery and fresco
- Cloister and monks cells
- Pinacoteca of the 17th century
- Historic Archives (maps, paintings and rarities)
- Underground of the Charterhouse
- Royal carriages
- Royal manger
Enjoy Naples and its treasures: Book your private City-guide and discover the Town of Naples/Italy and its hidden gems. Combine with the Certosa di San Martino a tailor-made tour for you your family and/or friends!
See you soon!
Cecilia Barbara Walch
Capri, 4th of December 2017