In a small village in a small valley in the hills of Austria lays a hidden gem. Out of the way, Gaming in many ways looks like a typical quaint Austrian village: clean, tidy, and profuse red geraniums in the summer. At the end of the town lies the Kartause, or Charterhouse. Founded in 1330, it was a Carthusian monastery until 1782 when Emperor Joseph II dissolved most contemplative religious orders.
Woah, back up. See that church? Built in the 14th century. Still in use today. Doesn’t that just blow your mind?
The Kartause fell into disuse and was severely damaged by the Russian occupation at the end of WWII. In the early 1980’s an architect bought the Kartuase and began to renovate it. Looking at photos and reading what had to be done shows that this was a monumental task. The Kartause now houses a hotel, a study abroad program, and the Language and Catechetical Institute.
The Kartause has a certain calm, perhaps left from the monks who once walked these same halls. The natural beauty of the quiet hilly surroundings helps. I was blessed to spend a semester there, many years ago. I still remember walking into my wood-beamed room looking back into the hills and thinking “THIS is my dorm room??” And still now, when we visit family who lives there, I always come away feeling refreshed.
Have you been to Gaming? Where is your soul soothing place?