Montsalvat is one of Melbourne’s most interesting treasures. It’s located in Eltham, thirty-five minutes from central Melbourne.
Justus Jörgensen established Montsalvat in 1934 as an artist’s community on 12 acres of land. It is Australia’s oldest artists’ community and remains home to painters, sculptors, jewellery makers, textile artists, musicians, glassmakers, smiths, and ceramic artists. Some artists offer classes and workshops in various art forms such as drawing, painting, sculpture, crochet, jewellery, and even guitar-making. Artists live and work here, but visiting artists can present and perform their work. Exhibitions and performances are frequently held there.
Visitors can pay a small fee to walk through the gardens and check out the artists’ houses/workshops. You might even catch an artist at work and strike up a conversation. You can also explore the buildings. The Great Hall is particular impressive with its many nooks and crannies and interesting architectural details. Another picturesque building is the chapel.
It’s a very beautiful place and has a magical quality about it. It’s no wonder that Montsalvat is sought after for films and photography as well as corporate functions and weddings. There’s a small shop where you can buy handmade items made at Montsalvat. There’s also a small restaurant called the Boulevard; bookings are strongly suggested.
For more information about Montsalvat, please visit its website here.