Make your own free website on

Immaculate Heart of Mary's Hermitage

La Grande Chartreuse
Spirtual Adoption | Home | Mission Statement | Carthusians | Prayer | Devotion | Welcome | Blog | Monasticism | Chapel | Horarium | Relics | aBook Store | Links


The mother-house of the Carthusian Order lies in a high valley of the Alps of Dauphine, at an altitude of 4268 feet, fourteen miles north of Grenoble. The monastery is located on open pasture. To the east the ridge of the Grand-Som towers above its roof, on the south the road approaches through a narrow gorge, while on the north and west the valley is shut in by heights covered with woods, due to the planting of the earlier monks. This land is now the property of France.
The first monastery, built by Saint Bruno in 1084 was located were the chapel of Notre-Dame de Casalibus now stands. It was destroyed by an avalanche in 1132, and the new buildings were erected on part of the site of the present grand cloître. The monastery was burnt eight times between 1320 and 1676.
Some time after the last fire, Prior Innocent Le Masson, began to rebuild the greater part of it in the somewhat cold and heavy style of the period. His work was solid, and there is a severe monastic element about it. The buildings of today are substantially as he left them, though they have been extensively restored during the nineteenth century. They are on the typically Carthusian layout, with the addition of the great guest-houses and capitular hall, constructed to accommodate the Carthusian priors attending the general chapters.
The most ancient portions are the Gothic parts of the grand cloître (over 700 feet long) and the church, which dates in part from 1320 or perhaps earlier, but owes its present form to restoration in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. The monastery, with a small portion of the surrounding pastures, was rented from the State till, in accordance with the Association Laws of 1901, the last Carthusians were expelled by two squadrons of dragoons on the 19th of April, 1903.


The monks of La Grand Chartreuse, driven into exile with the prior general, found refuge at Farneta, in Italy, until 1929, when Montrieux, the first of the French charterhouses to be restored, was reopened. Only in 1940 were the monks able to re-occupy La Grande Chartreuse.







The monks live in cells arranged along three sides of a courtyard. Each cell is in effect a tiny house, with a room for work, a room for prayer, a bedroom and a miniature garden. A hair shirt is worn, but meals are prepared by lay brothers and are passed in through a hatch.







The monks leave their cells only at night, to worship together in the monastery church, and on Sundays and feast days for a communal meal - during which there is a period for conversation.














Top of Page

Official website of the Carthusian Order

Help support us !!! As a non-profit, Immaculate Heart of Mary's Hermitage qualifies to be an Associate. At the end of each month we receive a percentage of the total purchases made through the Amazon link below. So, order your books and any gifts through our Associates link and help support the ministry of Immaculate Heart of Mary's Hermitage at the same time! Just Click Link Below to Shop Amazon.

Copyright © 2001-2020 Immaculate Heart of Mary Melbourne Hermitage 

The Webmaster does not endorse, nor control, the advertisements appearing throughout this website.