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A visit to Montsalvat, Victoria, Australia | Stewart Marshall
On Thursday, I spent a lovely couple of hours at Montsalvat, Australia's oldest artists' community, set amid unique grounds and buildings, a place where art is made, taught, exhibited, performed and celebrated. It is a creative hub, located in Eltham, thirty-five minutes from central Melbourne, at the entrance of the Yarra Valley. Montsalvat was founded by Justus Jörgensen in 1934. Since then, it has been an inspiration to various artists, from painter Helen Lempriere to the Rolling Stones, who held a press conference here in 1971. The name Montsalvat features in both German and English mythology. Richard Wagner, the famous German composer, tells of a distant land called 'Montsalvat' in his opera Lohengrin. Montsalvat also features in the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. In both of these stories Montsalvat is the location of the fabled Holy Grail. Montsalvat's own legend has it that Sue Vanderkelen first called this place Montsalvat, declaring that it meant