The Charterhouse of Calci was founded in 1366 as a ghotic building, even if it display currently a baroque style
due to reconstructions operated in the 18th century.
All the construction plans were laid out by the monks themselves, for they only knew exactly the organizational,
architectural and administrative needs of the chartusian life as it was intended by the Rule of S. Benedetto:
times and places shared by the community and places for silence and solitude.
The building was used by the monks until the 1972, when the last monk moved to the
Charterhouse of Farneta (Lucca).
After a long period of dereliction the whole structure was acquired by both the University of Pisa and the Bureau of Natural, Architectural, Artistic and Historical Estate of the Province of Pisa. The Chareterhouse is now open to the public: a walkpath through the main places of the building (the main curch, the chapels, the refectory, the cells, the Granduca's appartment and the old pharmacy) shows a sample of the daily life of the monk. Inside the buildings that once hosted production activity (granaries, cellars, workshops, ecc.) the University of Pisa has placed its Museum of Natural history.
The Natural History Museum of Pisa University originated in the “gallery” founded in 1591 by Ferdinando I de’
Medici, as an annex of the Botanical Garden
This museum was subsequently divided into independent sections, because of the division of Natural History into
specialised fields of research, although it remained housed under the same roof.
In the following decades the Museum and the related research facilities expanded greatly; the collections were
continuosly enlarged by the addition of new specimens.
The museum was also used as a storage place for research material for the Faculty of Natural History at the University.
Some of the collections have to be mentioned for their high historical or didactic interest: the cetaceans, the malacological collection, the mammals, the birds, the comparative anatomy collection, the minerals, the marbles and the fossils.
The current Museum of Natural History was founded in 1981, merging the old Museums of Zoology and the collections of comparative Anatomy, Mineralogy and Petrography, Geology and Paleontology. It was hosted in a portion of the Pisa Charterhouse. The new museum is intended as a place of research and didactic activities, well integrated into the historical and artistic aspects of the monumental architecture of the Charterhouse.
For touristic information on Pisa see Tourism Pisa.
The original version of this page can be found at http://giove.isti.cnr.it/certosa.html.