Originally founded in 1084 near Grenoble (France), the Carthusian order was known for its austere monastic rules – its monks passing their days in the contemplation of death, following the motto ‘Memento Mori’ (Remember You Must Die). In Kartuzy they built a church and, beside it, 18 hermitages laid out in the shape of a horseshoe.
The church seems to be a declaration of the monks’ philosophy; the original Gothic brick structure was topped in the 1730s with a baroque roof that looks like a huge coffin. On the outer wall of the chancel there’s a sundial and, just beneath it, a skull with the ‘Memento Mori’ inscription. In the former granary there is a small gallery under which lies a pleasant cafe.
If the church is locked, call the phone number and someone will appear with the keys.