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Chiostri di San Martino

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

80129 Naples, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino during the late afternoon when the sunlight bathes the city in golden hues; the panoramic view from the monastery's vantage point is truly breathtaking at this hour. Also, locals often attend the occasional concerts held in the church – check the schedule before you visit, as these events offer a unique combination of splendid acoustics and historic atmosphere."

What is the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino?

The Carthusian Monastery of San Martino is one of Naples' true hidden gems, perched atop the Vomero Hill, commanding an arresting view of the city and the bay below. This former monastery, now a museum, is a stunning example of Baroque and Rococo architecture, rich with intricate frescoes, detailed marquetry, and impressive works of art. It's a place where the spiritual meets the artistic, creating an atmosphere that's both tranquil and awe-inspiring.

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But the treasure of San Martino isn't just its art; it's also the panoramic views it offers. From its lofty terraces, you can gaze out across the Neapolitan landscape, taking in Vesuvius, Capri, and the historic center sprawled at your feet. For those who are in the know, a visit here can be one of the most rewarding experiences in Naples—providing aesthetic, spiritual, and visual nourishment.

History of the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino

Founded in 1325 by Charles, Duke of Calabria, the eldest son of King Robert of Anjou, this monastery has seen centuries of change. The original Gothic building was transformed in the 17th century, adopting the Baroque style that was fashionable at the time. This venture was led by prominent Neapolitan architects, including Cosimo Fanzago, who is responsible for much of the opulent décor that visitors marvel at today.

Through the ups and downs of history, San Martino Monastery has played host to a community of Carthusian monks, and served various roles, including as barracks and a hospital. It's been since restored to its former glory, and in the 19th century, it was converted into a museum. Interestingly, during the complex's heyday, it was famed for self-sufficiency, its gardens and water systems a testament to the ingenuity of its residents.

As you walk through the halls, you can almost hear the echoes of the past—whispers of devout monks in prayer and the subtle click of rosary beads. It's a chronicle of faith, art, and meticulous restoration, all coalescing into the magnificent structure that stands today.

Why is the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino Important?

The significance of the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino lies not just in its historical and artistic value, but also in its representation of Neapolitan culture and baroque artistry. Its preservation of artworks, artifacts, and frescoes provides a window into the religious and social dynamics of Naples throughout the centuries.

Moreover, the Monastery is an essential piece of the city's religious history. The Carthusian Order has always been shrouded in mystery due to their reclusive nature, and the Monastery offers rare insight into their secluded lifestyle. Also, the complex includes a church, a charterhouse, and extensive gardens, each a repository of histories and stories that shaped the very character of Naples.

This place is important not just to art lovers and history buffs, but to all who cherish the narrative tapestries woven by time. As a testament to Naples' resilience and dedication to preserving its past, San Martino stands proudly as a beacon of the city's enduring legacy.

Things to Do & See at the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino

Venture within the walls of the Monastery, and a plethora of activities await. You can start by exploring the opulent Church of San Martino, its ceiling adorned with frescoes that are a celestial marvel. The sacristy hosts a collection of paintings, while the aptly named 'Sala del Tesoro,' or 'Treasure Room', displays precious liturgical objects.

Then, wander through the extensive museum that chronicles Neapolitan life over the centuries. The exhibits include works by Ribera, a substantial collection of distinctive Neapolitan presepe (nativity scenes), and intricate inlaid woodwork from the monks' choir stalls. The naval section exhibits models, paintings, and relics, narrating the maritime history pivotal to Naples.

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Don't miss the opportunity to meander through the well-manicured gardens, where the scent of citrus trees lingers in the air. It is a place of reflection and repose, with a stunning backdrop of Naples spread out below you. And before you leave, stand on the terraces to take in that heart-stopping panoramic view—one that I assure you, will etch itself into your memory.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino?

The Carthusian Monastery of San Martino is a former monastery complex, now serving as a museum, located atop the Vomero hill near central Naples. It is renowned for its rich history, art, and architecture, including a church, a cloister, and splendid frescoes.

What can visitors see at the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino?

Visitors to the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino can explore the former monks' cells, the church with its beautiful frescoes, the cloisters, and the intricate works of Neapolitan art and craftsmanship on display. The site also offers stunning views over Naples.

How do I get to the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino in Naples?

You can reach the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino by taking the funicular to Vomero and then walking, or by road via car or bus. It is situated in a prominent position on the hill, making it visible from various points in the city.

What are the opening hours of the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino?

The opening hours of the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino can vary depending on the season and day of the week. It is generally open most days with a break in the afternoon, but it's best to check the latest times online or at the tourist information center before your visit.

Are there guided tours available at the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino?

Yes, guided tours are often available at the Carthusian Monastery of San Martino, offering deeper insights into the history and art of the monastery. Availability can vary, so it's recommended to inquire in advance or check the official website for tour options.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

80129 Naples, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps