Chartreuse, the name of various Carthusian monasteries, chiefly situated in France and Italy. The most famous institution of the kind is La Grande Chartreuse (Cartusia), in the department of Isere, France, situated in a picturesque but wild and desolate region, on the summit of a steep rock at an elevation of about 4,000 ft. above the level of the sea, 14 m. N. N. E. of Grenoble. This monastery is the residence of the general of the Carthusian order. It owes its origin to St. Bruno, who repaired with six disciples to this locality in the latter part of the 11th century. It derived its name from a neighboring hamlet called Chartreuse, and it has since been called Grande Chartreuse from being the fountain-head of all other monasteries of the order. The cell which was inhabited by St. Bruno has been converted into a chapel, in which service is performed day and night. In the chapter house are the portraits of the generals of the order and a marble statue of St. Bruno. The buildings have repeatedly been destroyed by tire; those now in use were erected in 1678. During the first French revolution the monastery was stripped of its possessions, but in 1816 it was restored to its original destination.
The number of its inmates, once 300, is now 120, who depend for their support partly upon raising cattle, but mainly on the profit arising from the manufacture of the famous liqueur which bears the name of the monastery, where it is distilled from aromatic herbs.
La Grande Chartreuse.