Enjoy this 2-hour guided tour of the different areas of the monastery and its gardens and orchards, the oldest in Andalusia. Murillo, Cristobal Colon, St. Teresa of Jesus were among its famous guests.
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Duration 2 hours
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Spanish, English, Italian
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Learn about the many historical changes Cartuja Monastery faced over the centuries
Discover the fascinating figures who were guests and its great cultural heritage
Explore the oldest monastery garden and orchards in Andalusia
The visit starts at 11:00AM from Puerta Tierra located on Americo Vespuccio Avenue. Your guide will explain about the orchards and gardens, covering the different areas and buildings there, ideal for photography lovers. Then, enter the monastery, now transformed into the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo and the majestic Chapter House with the crypts of the promoters of the monastery. The main cloister with its typical chimneys became famous for its earthenware factory of Seville La Cartuja.
During its six centuries of existence, the Cartuja Monastery has known moments of great splendor and of severe crisis. Due to its geographical location along the Guadalquivir river, it has fallen victim to numerous floods. The Carthusian community has offered protection and enrichment, particularly to the Sevillian families of Mena, Ribera and Veraguas. It was at the Cartuja Monastery, where the remains of Christopher Columbus were deposited for thirty years, given that the admiral was a fervent visitor of the Monastery – it was here where he prepared his second voyage to the Americas. Santa María de las Cuevas was also the spiritual retreat for Philip II and was also frequented by Arias Montano and Saint Theresa of Jesus, and all the Spanish kings that passed through Seville. The Monastery was also enriched by important collections of Alejo Fernández, Durero, Pace Gazini and Aprile de Carona; Montañés and Mesa; Murillo, Cano and Zurbarán and Pedro Roldán, Duque Cornejo etc.
The Cartuja was more than just a stable monument, a walled city in continuous change. In 1810, during the Napoleonic invasion, the Carthusians were expelled and the Monastery, invaded by the French, was transformed into a barracks for the French troops. The monks fled to Portugal and returned in 1812, after being secularized in 1836 during the period of the Confiscations of Mendizábal. Abandoned and battered, the Monastery was acquired in 1939 by the English merchant Charles Pickman, who installed a porcelain china and ceramics factory inside the monastery in 1841. The adaptation of the Cartuja to fit the needs of the factory were at first respectful of the building’s original purpose. Your tour ends in the gardens of the Marquesa, where many surprises will be waiting for you.