The Charterhouse A monastery turned into a village

At the heart of the Pilat massif in the mid-mountain, discover the village of Sainte-Croix-en-Jarez.

This exceptional heritage site is France’s only example of an old Carthusian monastery turned into a village!

La Chartreuse est aujourd'hui habitée par les laïcs

The order was founded in 1084 by Saint Bruno. He settled in the Chartreuse massif to live a life of prayer, contemplation, silence and solitude. The Carthusian community is split in two, with the Carthusian brothers and fathers still living according to the precepts of Saint Bruno today. The fathers, ordained priests, dedicate their life to prayer and live in the secrecy of their hermitage. The brothers also live in solitude and prayer while providing material sustenance for their community.

Founded in 1280 by Béatrix de la Tour du Pin, widow of Guillaume de Roussillon, Sainte-Croix Charterhouse has been home to a community of Carthusian monks for over 500 years. The monastery became a village after the Revolution in 1794.

The original purpose of the site can still be seen in the site’s architectural structure. In fact, it is still formed of three main parts which reflect the organisation and way of life of the Carthusian order:

there were two courts for the brothers and fathers at each end. Between the two courts, a group of community buildings called the coenobite area included the church, refectory, cloister, kitchen, library and hostelry for passing clergymen.

Come and discover this exceptional village, which has been awarded the Plus Beaux Villages de France and Village de Caractère en Loire labels.

Following in the Carthusians’ footsteps, our cultural mediators open the doors to the inner parts of the old monastery, from the churches to the kitchen via a hermitage. These areas are essential to any understanding of the monks’ way of life and the specific nature of the site.

Sainte-Croix offers a journey to the heart of one of the most prestigious monastic orders of all time.