Certosa di Pontignano during the RenaissanceDuring the late 15 C, the building received considerable impetus from Renaissance influences. These are visible mainly in the cloister along the long side of the church: its square layout, with five spans per side and sail vaults held up by small columns with ionian capitals express equilibrium and sobriety. Other minor work was done at the end of the 17 C, when the rooms along the eastern side of the monastery were refurbished: the six chapels built previously were united in the so called “Cappellone” or big chapel.
Certosa di Pontignano in modern times
In 1703, the Chapel of Saint Agnes was built: its door lies at the end of the eastern arm of the big cloister. The Carthusians who had devoted so much care to Pontignano, making it an oasis of peace, left the Certosa at the end of the 18 C. A document dated July 16, 1785, transferred Pontignano to the monks of Camaldoli, who however were forced to leave it when the convents were suppressed under Napoleon. The parish of San Martino a Cellole was then moved to Pontignano; the buildings, except those where the parish priest lived, were purchased - together with the old monks’ dwellings and some land - by the Masotti family, who sold them in 1886 to the Cecchinis, who in their turn passed them on in 1919 to the Sergardis. In 1939, the area became the property of the Certosa di Pontignano company, one of whose shareholders was Professor Mario Bracci. In the same period, the future Judge of the Constitutional Court had the villa and the small middle cloister repaired at his own expense. Throughout the war period, Pontignano was a secure place of refuge for Jews and the victims of political persecution. In 1959, the complex was purchased by the University of Siena, who then turned it into a congress and event centre.
Certosa di Pontignano vacation luxury accommodation
More recently the Certosa has begun to offer accommodation to vacationers in addition to its function as a congress centre.