The Truth About Chartreuse

The Order of Grande Chartreuse was founded in 1084 by a German writer and academic, Bruno, who taught at the University of Rheims. Weary of the endless piles of marking, pointless administration and mind-numbingly boring staff meetings – or perhaps simply obeying a call from Goddess (Green Tara to be exact) – Bruno decided to become a monk. Together with six friends, he scoured France for a suitable isolated spot and happened on the Chartreuse Desert, an inhospitable snowbound place near Grenoble in the French Alps. The group built themselves seven simple wooden cells, a chapel and a dining hall and enjoyed a life of prayerful contemplation and light snacks, thus establishing the first Carthusian (Charterhouse) monastery. Today there are twenty-four of these communities around the world and their way of life has not changed for over nine hundred years…