Chartreuse (pronounced: [ʃaʁtʁøz]) is a French liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks since the 1740s. It is composed of distilled alcohol aged with 130 herbal extracts. The liqueur is named after the Monks' Grande Chartreuse monastery, located in the Chartreuse Mountains in the general region of Grenoble in France. The liqueur is produced in a factory in the nearby town of Voiron (Isère).
Chartreuse gives its name to the color chartreuse. It is one of the handful of liquors that continues to age and improve in the bottle.
Grande Chartreuse (French: [ɡʁɑ̃d ʃaʁtʁøːz]) is the head monastery of the Carthusian order. It is located in the Chartreuse Mountains, north of the city of Grenoble, in the commune of Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse (Isère), France. Originally, the château belonged to the See of Grenoble. In 1084, Saint Hugh gave it to hermit Saint Bruno and his followers who founded the Carthusian Order.
Today, visitors are not permitted at Grand Chartreuse, and motor vehicles are prohibited on the surrounding roads. However, a museum of the Carthusian order and the lives of its monks and nuns stands about two kilometers away.
The order is supported by the sales of Chartreuse liqueur which has been popular in France and later around the world since the early 18th century.
English poet Matthew Arnold wrote one of his finest poems, Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse, while briefly staying at the monastery around 1850. The quiet, serenity, and monastic calm became, for him, the susurrations of a dying world which contrasted with what he saw as the violent emerging age of machinery. Grand Chartreuse was also described in the 1850 revision of William Wordsworth's The Prelude, Book VI, lines 416-88 (Wordsworth visited the monastery in 1790), and John Ruskin's Praeterita.