Certosa di San Martino: Chiostro Grande, interior with detail of the monks’ cemetery
Chiostro Grande (Cloister), designed by Giovanni Antonio Dosio, 1591-1609, with further decoration by Cosimo Fanzago, 1631-1656. Fanzago also created the balustrade of the monks' cemetery, in which the ephemerality of earthly life is emphasized by laurel-wreathed skulls on the top.
The Carthusian certosa (charterhouse) on the Vómero Hill, site of the Museo di S Martino, was founded in 1325. It was built in close relation to the surrounding landscape, with magnificent gardens (restored after World War II) overlooking the city. From the late 16th century to the late 18th the certosa underwent transformations that almost obliterated its medieval form and made it one of the most remarkable European Baroque monuments. Giovanni Giacomo di Conforto and Giovanni Antonio Dosio restructured the certosa in the late 16th century. Dosio designed the great arched and columned Chiostro Grande (1591-1609). Cosimo Fanzago, who directed the works 1631-1656 added many important sculptural details. It is now a museum.