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Certosa di Pavia Travel Guide
Certosa di Pavia (© Lsantilli -
Certosa di Pavia


The Certosa di Pavia, or Charterhouse of Pavia, is a monastery complex situated near a small town of the same name, 8 km north of Pavia. Masterpiece of Late Gothic, Renaissance and Mannerist architecture, it is one of the most flamboyant monasteries in Europe.

It was commissioned by the first Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who wanted to use is as the family mausoleum, and was intentionally designed to resemble Milan's cathedral. The construction lasted from 1396 to 1495. By the time of its completion, the Viscontis had been replaced by the Sforzas, so that only the fist Visconti duke is buried here. The seventh duke, Ludovico il Moro Sforza, the patron of Leonardo da Vinci who commissioned the The Last Supper, is also interred in the Certosa.

The monastery was destined to the Carthusian Order, also known as the Order of Saint Bruno. Though in their early centuries the Carthusians were known for their seclusion and asceticism and the plainness of their architecture, the Certosa is renowned for the exuberance of its architecture, in both the Gothic and Renaissance styles. The charterhouse is also renowned for its splendid collection of artworks, which are particularly representative of the region.

Opening Hours & Admission

The charterhouse is open daily (except Mondays) from 9:00 am to 11:30 am and from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm (until 6:00 pm from May to Aug., until 5:00 pm from Nov. to Feb.). The last entry is one hour before the closing time. Admission is free.

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