On our way to the Ligurian coastline in Italy, we made a very nice stop to stay for the night nearby Pavia. In the early afternoon we had time to visit the nearby monastery: The Certosa di Pavia just 40 kilometer south of Milano. We visited the city itself in the late afternoon and found a nice restaurant for dinner. 

Certosa di Pavia, 1925. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Certosa di Pavia, 23rd of April 2023. Photo: Casper Molenaar. 

Built between 1396 and 1495 it is one of the biggest monasteries in Italy and a popular place for worshipping and pilgrimage. The monastery is still inhabited by Cistercian monks whose life style is simple and sober. The monks live around the small monastery garden, each in their own house and are not allowed to own any property. 

The marble facade with all its details.

The weather was just perfect and the marble facade of the monastery in the sunlight very impressive as, its interior. 

We saw people gathering at the entrance of a gate in the fence just before the impressive altar. I decided to make a round through the rest of the monastery, but nowhere I could find the places Kurt Hielscher had photographed. After a while, I learned that the people in front of the fence were waiting for a guided religious tour through the rest of the monastery. So we took our chances, but the everlasting speeches were only in Italian, which took its toll on the boys. For me the tour was worth it, and not only because I wanted to rephotograph Kurt Hielscher's photos. One simply can sense this is a very important place that comes with a lot of beauty. 

Thanks to the guided tour we also ended up here in the main courtyard with its surrounding quarters of the monks where Kurt Hielscher made a few photos as well.

These quarters have their own small gardens.

Courtyard at the quarters of the monks, 1925. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.

Courtyard at the quarters of the monks, 23rd of April 2023. Photo: Kurt Hielscher. 


Below: View the enormous courtyard of the Certosa di Pavia with the tiny houses of the monks. 

In the footsteps of  Kurt Hielscher