Basel, Die Kartause, 1408. Foto/Photo: TES.

The Carthusian Monastery of Basel

The monastery was officially incorporated into the Carthusian order in 1407. Construction of the church and other monastic buildings began in 1408

The Basel Council (1431-1449) was a (cultural) heyday for the order and other Basel monasteries. Numerous council participants and other visitors tried to make their presence felt with donations. Subsequently, large donations went towards constructing and furnishing the monastery and church.

Among the donors were cardinals, archbishops, abbots and noblemen. One of the donors was Duchess Isabella of Burgundy, wife of Duke Philip the Good and mother of Charles the Bold.

In 1536, during the Reformation, the city prohibited the election of a new prior. The last Carthusian monk died in 1564. Since the city had renounced involuntary removal, it could not dispose of the monastery buildings until 1564.

The Charterhouse in 1408 was a late straggler. The great century of monastic foundations in Basel was the 13th century. However, the monastery complex is better preserved than the other nine monasteries.

Its current appearance is characterised by the renovation work carried out in 1990. The Charterhouse is now run as a social-educational institution in unbroken continuity with the old municipal orphanage.

(Source: F. Ackermann, Th. Wollmann, Klöster in Basel. Basel, 2009).