Charterhouse of St. Giacomo Capri
The Charterhouse of St. James is the oldest monastery in Capri.
Built in 1371 by the will of Count Giacomo Arcucci on a land donated by Regina Giovanna I D’Angiò, the charter houses the museum dedicated to the German painter Karl Diefenbach.
Certosa’s structure was built in the third quarter of the 14th century thanks to the auspices of Count Giacomo Arcucci. The initial plant, then subjected to centuries of profound changes, presented the classical functional partition to the cenobitic life: a cloistered area and the other services, in the characteristic late Romanesque style that unites the island buildings of the period.
From the foundation enjoyed great privileges granted by Queen Giovanna, whom the Carthusian monks managed to maintain in the following centuries despite the alternate events that marked the life of the Neapolitan kingdom in the 14th and 16th centuries. Although the monastery was revived from the pirate incursions, which flagged the island and the Amalfi Coast in the first half of the sixteenth century, rebuilding and extending the monastery with the addition of the sixteenth-century cloister.
With Gioacchino Murat in 1808, the charter property was confiscated, and a barracks (1815) were built, then a hospice and, from 1868 to 1898, a punishment for military and anarchists. In the first half of the twentieth century, the charter went through brief moments of activity (in 1936, for example, the latean Canons had set up a gymnasium for them) to decline during the Second World War to a deplorable defeat with the consequent disappearance of the canons.
Since 1975, it has been home to the museum dedicated to the German painter Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach, who died on the island in 1913. It is necessary to wait for the first two thousand years to see the restoration of the entire structure by the Neapolitan Superintendence.
Among the works still there is a fresco of the fourteenth century, by the Florentine painter Nicolò di Tommaso.