The castle


Monthelon Castle is a place dedicated to artistic search, surrounded by an endless sky and green acres.

It was founded 1989 by Ueli Hirzel, a contemporary circus artist and producer, and Eva Bruderer. Their determination to promote the « upstream of the upstream » in the creation process is everlasting thank to an artists’ collective who created the Monthelon Castle Association in 2010 to promote this transdisciplinary project which receives worldwide recognition.

The place

Monthelon is a country manor mostly built in the XVIIth century but originally from the VIIIth century.

It enjoys a very special location: on top of a hill with south-facing orientation face to “bocage bourguignon”, it is sheltered from urban hustle and bustle and production rationale.

Its isolation and its panorama offer an environment conducive to contemplation or to introspection, to inspiration, therefore to creative work.

Three families presently live in the castle together with permanent artists whose daily commitment contributes to the life of the castle.

The activities

The artistic residences

Sheltered by the castle walls and the freedom provided by its surroundings, artists are invited to meet each other in order to re-source their art and give birth to new projects.

Around 150 artists are welcome every year for a given time lasting between ten days and several months focused on a project or according to their needs, to allow them to lose track and to find their way again, facing the unknown with all the demands involved.

How to apply for an artist residency?

Public events

End of residency

According to work progress public presentation sessions are organised.
They involve an exchange between the artist and the public when spectators are invited to give their response, their impressions, their ideas to nurture the work of the artist and become aware of the true meaning of their presence.

The Rencontres de Monthelon

This three-days summer event has been taking place since 2005 and welcomes around a thousand people for the Rencontres when artists from the Association meet the artists in residence from the previous year.

It is an opportunity for the public to discover new shows but also performances, installations and improvisations in a welcoming place with food and drinks available.
Thanks to the Association the Rencontres take a different form every year.

See the previous Rencontres de Monthelon

Local cultural action

Monthelon Castle establishes partnership in the area to share its resources with locals, children, the elderly, sick or handicapped people, and even prisoners.

International cooperation

Every year Monthelon Castle welcome more than 40% foreign artists and numerous informal connections exist throughout the world.
To develop these connections institutional partnerships have been created.

In Chili: Maule region and circus school Pala Espacio Creativo from Linarès.
In Denmark: The Aarhus Filmværksted, foundation to promote independent cinema.


5 Workspaces

The workspaces are made up of five differents volumes offering multiple possibilities for artistic reflection and experimentation. Tecnhically, these different rooms are all summarily equipped. They are not all heated, so their use is dependent on the seasons. In addition, there is a carpentry workshop and large outdoor spaces that can accomodate all sorts of mobile structures (circus tents, gantries, etc.).

Grande salle: 19m x 6m70; height 7m (see plan)
Salle de danse: 12m x 5m50; min height 2m max height 4m
Blackbox: 15m x 7m50; height 5m. 100% black, available from April to October.
Atelier:6m x 8m ; height 3m
Salle de musique

4 Collective spaces

The quality of the welcome is central to the project of Monthelon. Numerous common areas are designed to encourage people to live together, to meet and exchange ideas among the residents:

  • the kitchen, masterfully and professionally equipped, is the heart of the place where artists, teams and people passing through meet and mingle.
  • the large living room, divided into two areas, includes sofas, a collective table, a bar area and a professional quality grand piano.
  • the shared library offers everyone the oppotunity to donate a book, thus consituting a specialized collection that can be consulted by all. This space, equipped with Wifi, also serves as an administrative workspace for the teams in residence. See the books.
  • the immense outdoor spaces of the Château de Monthelon open up a unique view of the Serein valley. They offer calm and serenity to artists seeking to take the time for their research.

25 Lodgings

7 rooms
1 dormitory
1 studio
3 trailers
-> this volume is dependent on the seasons.