Charterhouse

The Charterhouse of Granada is a monastery of cloistered monks, located in what was a farm or Muslim almunia called Aynadamar (Fountain of the Tears) that had an abundance of water and fruit trees. The initiative to build the monastery in that place was begun by Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, known as El Gran Capitán. The charterhouse was founded in 1506; construction started ten years later, and continued for the following 300 years.

The Monastery suffered heavy damage during the Peninsular War and lost considerable property in 1837 as a result of the confiscations of Mendizábal. Currently, the monastery belongs to the Carthusians, reporting directly to the Archdiocese of Granada.

The street entrance to the complex is an ornate arch of Plateresque style. Through it one reaches a large courtyard, at the end which is a wide staircase leading to the entrance of the church. The church, of early 16th century style and plan, has three entrances, one for the faithful and the other two for monks and clergy. Its plan has a single nave divided into four sections, highlighting the retables of Juan Sánchez Cotán and the chancels glass doors, adorned with mother-of-pearl, silver, precious woods and ivory. The presbytery is covered by elliptical vaulting. The main altar, between the chancel arch and thechurch tabernacle, is gilded wood.

The Church tabernacle and Sancta Santorum is considered a masterpiece of baroque Spanish art in its blend of architecture, painting and sculpture. The dome that covers this area is decorated with frescoes by the Cordovan artist Antonio Palomino (18th century) representing the triumph of the Church Militant, the faith, and religious life.

The courtyard, with galleries of arches on Doric order columns opening on it, is centered by a fountain. The Chapter House of Legos is the oldest building of the monastery (1517). It is rectangular and covered with groin vaulting.