Bologna San Girolamo della Certosa
About San Girolamo della Certosa
In 1768 Giovanni Dotti built the loggia around this courtyard of this church. It was on 17th April 1334 that the first stone was laid for the construction of a monastery here and according to the wishes of Giovanni D’Andrea – an important figure in Bologna – the church was dedicated to San Girolamo. The monastery was taken over by the Carthusian Order who was reputedly in the favour of the French Pope Giovanni XXII.
Just inside the entrance are chapels on either side exquisitely decorated with huge canvases and smaller paintings on the walls.
The monastery was finished in 1367 and consecrated two years later. In the 16th century a cloister was added at the back of the church and a small bell tower. T Martelli built the larger bell tower between 1608-11but despite the many additions and renovations over the years the church still retains the original gothic form which noticed from the entrance is in the shape of an inverted ‘T’.
Around 1792 the priory was abandoned due to the invading French army and shortly after in 1797 this became the headquarters of all monasteries in the area but in 1801 it was transformed into a communal cemetery. From that period on then the dead were redirected from the smaller church grounds and brought here to Certosa cemetery. Furthermore, between 1805-1820 this also meant of the various areas around the church including the corridors, oratories and courtyards, in particular the cloister named after the Madonna, those images of the Virgin from the suppressed churches were also transported here.
In the mid XV century Pope Nicohlas V was said to have greatly influenced the decoration of the church with outstanding art work. One of those is this copy of the polyptych by Antonio and Bartolomeo Vivarini later transferred to the Bologna Pinacoteca Museum. Other art pieces that were transferred to the museum include altarpieces by Ludovico and Agostino Carraci who was responsible for La Comunione di San Girolamo, and Guercino’s work of La Visione di San Bruno.
In the nave here are large canvases depicting the cycle of Christ’s life – a splendid and truly inspirational set of Bolognese baroque works of art by various artists. According to past traditions this area passed the gates would have been visited only by the monks.
The church also still hosts Bartolomeo Cesi’s 17th century triptych of the Passion of Christ and the wooden inlaid choir previously shown here which was restored in 1538 after the fire caused by Charles V’s Lansquenets.
From 1958 San Girolamo has been under the care of the ‘Fathers from the Congregation of the Passion of Christ’, more commonly referred to in Italian as the ‘Passionisti.’