There is more to the book village of Montolieu than only written words. La Manufacture Royale is a creative hotbed housed in a former textile factory that brings together a pleasant melting pot of art, music, theatre and food. Throughout the year, many exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events take place at and around the leafy courtyard. So keep an eye on their calendar once the lockdown is lifted!
La Manufacture Royale has a long history and was built in Montolieu in 1739. The textile factory produced and exported woollen sheets until 1818. Since then, the historic buildings have known harsh times surviving through crises, floods, wars and economic downfall. To eventually be rescued by the new owners Marieke and Bart de Jonge. For fifteen years, they have, and still are, renovating the buildings that have corroded over time. And now, this historic site hosts a cultural centre with artisanal workshops and art galleries. You will even find a restaurant and guest rooms.
When I visited Montolieu, I brought Oldest and Youngest with me. After a delightful lunch at restaurant L’Apostrophe, we decided to explore the artistic site a little further. We didn’t see many people around, so we started roaming around on our own. Our curiosity brought us to this hangar type of building with some cool street art in it. This exhibition- L’Atelier Zion Expo- is a monumental artwork measuring 420 square metres. Airjp Tagman created the bright and funky wall art to bring new life to the abandoned Manufacture Royale.
Of course, I also wanted to take a look at the galleries and workshops that are housed opposite the restaurant. Here, too, you will find a wide range of artistic styles. From the various art galleries, like Willy Bâ, and diverse craftsmen and women to the book corner and temporary exhibitions in the Salle Ramel. Oldest and Youngest had lost interest a little by then, but eventually even they found something to their liking. Right at the end of the building, Scanagem’s board games attracted their eye, and they completely lost themselves in the colourful settings. La Manufacture Royale is a place to be amazed and let your imagination lead you through this wonderful world of wonders.