Char·ter·house /ˈtʃɑrtərˌhaʊs/

–noun, plural -hous·es  /-ˌhaʊzɪz/
1. a Carthusian monastery.
2. the hospital and charitable institution founded in London, in 1611, on the site of a Carthusian monastery.
3. the public school into which this hospital was converted.
4. the modern heir of this school, now located in Surrey.

1400–50; late ME < AF chartrouse (taken as charter + house), after Chatrousse, village in Dauphiné near which the order was founded; see Carthusian, whence the first r of the AF word


Agnes recalled a sentence from Stendahl’s novel: “Il se retira à la chartreuse de Parme.” Fabrice left; he retired to the charterhouse of Parma. No charterhouse is mentioned anywhere else in the novel, and yet that single sentence on the last page is so important that Stendahl used it for the title; because the real goal of all Fabrice’s adventures was the charterhouse, a place secluded from people and the world.

Source: Immortality by Milan Kundera.