The ruins of the Chartreuse de Prémol can be seen in Vaulnaveys le Haut. The monastery was founded in 1234 at an altitude of 1095 m. It housed around 30 nuns until they were forced to leave during the French Revolution
La Chartreuse de Prémol: this name comes from the Latin Pratis Mollis, the soft meadow. The monastery is now destroyed. Only 2 buildings remain: the forest house and the ruins of the porter's house, destroyed by fire in 1989.
Located at an altitude of 1095m, the Chartreuse de Prémol, one of the very first Carthusian monasteries for women, was founded in 1234 by the wife of the Dauphin Guigues André, Beatrix de Montferrat.
The domains of the monastery were particularly vast, covering 397 hectares and going from Alberges, la Faurie and Vaulnaveys-le-Bas to "les arselles". The monastery enjoyed rents and pensions, owned mills, sawmills, iron mines, hammers, forests, farms and "vacheries". These properties were administered by a father prosecutor residing in Prémol. The Carthusian monastery housed about sixty people, including 35 nuns, and their specialties were pharmacy and the preparation of elixirs.
The convent buildings covered the area between the ruins of the present gatehouse and the forest house. They included a church, a cloister, chapels, cells, refectory, kitchen, linen room, cellars, apothecary, laundry rooms, stables and gardens.
Initially covered in essandoles (roof of wooden boards), they suffered two fires, in 1467 and in 1707. They were also victims of the Hugenots in 1563, at the time of the wars of religion and of the revolutionaries in 1789.
With the suppression of the religious communities, the Carthusian monks had to leave the place, the goods were sold while the forest and the dependences were entrusted to the forest administration of which they still depend today.
It should be noted that in 1821, the former nuns had the remains of some of their former companions removed, but left the ashes of the Dauphine Béatrix and her son Guigues, whose tombs were in the church, near the altar.
Ruins of the Chartreuse de Prémol
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