Collegiate Church in Kartuzy

The Carthusians came to Kashubia from Prague, Bohemia, led by Father Johannes Deterhus. They were brought to Kashubia by the founder of the Carthusian monastery, a wealthy nobleman, Jan from Rusocin, son of the Castellan of Prague and Gdańsk. This happened in 1382.

History and monastic rule

On the Kashubian ground the Carthusians came from the Czech’s Prague, led by the father Johannes Deterhusem. They were brought to Kashuby in 1382 by the founder of the monastery of Kartuzy a rich nobleman called John of Rusocin, a son of Pradzki Castellan and of Gdansk. The first buildings were built by the founder himself.

Soon among the wealthy people of Gdansk were found benefactors willing to help to build a monastery. The construction of the church was took over by the Gdansk merchant John Thiergart, the refectory was built by a Gdansk tailor of unknown names and church chapter was built by the family of Else. Consecration of the church was done by the Bishop of Wloclawek Stefan in 1403.

Kartuzy, fot. Pomorskie Travel,/M. Ochocki

Kartuzy, fot. Pomorskie Travel,/M. Ochocki

Monks and monastery

A strict austere Carthusian rule, their exotic asceticism, vegetarian cuisine, using speech only in need and separating themselves from the people and the world evoked admiration and encouraged the rich to give high donations for the monastery. The life of Carthusians was adapted to the contemplative life and resounded in their greetings exchanged to all, namely “Memento Mori” – remember the death and “Memento Dei” – remember God. The monks did not take pastoral activity. They had no merits in the development of education, hospitals or help for the poor. The main vocation of the monks was to worship God with an eight-hour daily prayer.

Monastery aroused great interest of the rulers. In 1598, the monastery was visited by King Sigismund III Vasa, and in 1661 by King Jan Kazimierz. In the years 1731 – 1733 the Gothic roof was changed and shaped like a coffin lid. The monastery possessed vast estates: Gdynia with Grabowek, Czaple, Somonino, Kielpino, Goreczyno, Kolbudy, Ostrzyce, Brodnica, Golubie, Brabowo, Prokowo and many others.

Kartuzy panorama, photo: Pomorskie Travel, M. Ochocki

Kartuzy panorama, photo: Pomorskie Travel, M. Ochocki

The fall of splendor of the monastery marked the beginning of the 16th century during the Reformation and deepened in the era of the Polish partitions. In 1823 the Prussian authorities on the basis of the edict of the King of Prussia to 1810 led to the overall cassation of the Monastery and seizure of its property. From the splendor of the former Paradise of Mary survived a beautiful Gothic church with a Baroque roof in the shape of a coffin lid, refectory, and one of the eighteen hermitages and part of the original walls surrounding the monastery.

Visitors to the pearl of Kashubian ground can admire not only beautiful buildings but also can admire a wealth of sacred art including Gothic altars, Baroque, cordovans, stalls, sculptures and a large gallery of images.



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