Arriving at Karthaus, it is not immediately obvious that this has once been the site of a large monastery. Only a few fragments are left of the original Allerengelberg fabric. But anyone looking more closely will discover that the entire village is struct
Prince Heinrich of Tyrol, also called King of Bohemia and father of Margarete Maultasch, was the founder of Allerengelberg monastery. Ever since the 14th century, the monastery's extensive complex had been populated by Carthusian monks who followed their order's rules which were a combination of eremitic and monastic living. In the 16th century, during the Peasant Wars, the monastery was repeatedly attacked by rebellious peasants protesting against high taxes. To protect themselves against such attacks, the monks raised the monastery walls. In 1782, in the course of secularization, the monastery was dissolved, and farmers moved in with their families. New buildings were added, and the settlement grew over time, creating the new village of Karthaus within the municipality of Schnals. The village expanded further, following the monastery layout - today's village square, for instance, is in the same place as the old monastery yard. Observant visitors will notice decorated relief stones from the monastery integrated into the walls of new buildings. Today's parish church is the former servants' church, and the old monastery church is now a restaurant. In 1924, the monastery and many residential houses were severely damaged by fire. The village required comprehensive restoration work. The South Tyrolean Office for Historical Monuments restored parts of the monastery building. A section of the large cloister is now accessible, and in summer it forms the backdrop for an art exhibition.