The historical monument

From the 15th century, Montolieu made high quality fabric. The siliceous nature of the water of the two rivers (the Alzeau and the Dure) was favorable to the cleaning of the wool provided by the sheep of the mountain.

The Royal Manufacture was built from 1739 on mills of the sixteenth century. It is bordered on the east side by a ‘Béal’, used to clean the wool, and by la Dure powering the looms. The high quality sheets produced at the Manufacture were intended for export, via Marseille, towards the Levant (Constantinople, Aleppo …).

The industrial activity was largely carried out in the workshops upstream of the building on the river (now in ruins), the building itself housing the director and owner of the plant and also used for the storage of sheets.

The building became Royal Manufacture under Louis XV. Witness the coat of arms above the front door, chipped in 1791 during the Revolution. Three lily flowers on a globe, surrounded by the collar of the royal and military order of St. Louis. The word “royal” was also hammered.

The Royal Manufactory of Montolieu is listed in the official supplementary inventory of historical monuments, partly because of the good preservation of the elements such as the majestic marble staircase of Louis XIII style, period joinery (doors, windows … ) and more generally the classical balance of both interior and exterior architecture.

Bart and Marieke, since 15 years work tirelessly to renovate. Major works were started in 2019, with the help of the Ministry of Culture, to restore the facade and redo the roof according to the demanding standards of historical monuments.