The Tir du Papegay

The Tir du Papegay - 29th of september 2018

A brief history

Duke Charles III. of Savoy, called “the Good”, granted the "Quatre bonnes villes" Yverdon 1515, Morges 1518 or 1527, Moudon and Nyon 1527, the privilege to compete annually for their archery, crossbow and later their rifle marksmenship. The shooting kings were granted tax and duty relief. In other regions of Europe this exotic bird served as a wooden target for bowmen and crossbowmen since the 13th century. The parrot was usually attached to a high, laterally supported pole at least 25 m high. The annual parrot shooting took place at the beginning of May and had the character of a spring festival.

After Bern conquered Vaud back from the Duchy of Savoy in 1536, Bern maintained the tradition and continued to support it to promote the militarily importance of archery. Over the years, Bern granted other Vaudois towns the privilege of parrot shooting, such as Grandson with its Compagnie des Mousquetaires in 1614. With the end of the Ancien Régime in 1798 the parrot shooting was interrupted. In the newly created canton of Vaud in 1803, attempts were made to reactivate parrot shooting in some places, but without much success, thus this tradition only survived until the mid-nineteenth century.

2013 - Reintroduction in Grandson

In 2013, the parrot shooting was reestablished by the initiative of Jürg A. Meier, the curator of the weapon collection in Grandson castle. It is the only town in Vaud where such an event is organized anually. The organization of the parrot shooting involves the FCG, "Fondation du Château de Grandson", the "Amis du Château de Grandson" and the local rifle companies, primarily the "Mouquetaires". The SKKG, Foundation for Art, Culture and History, owner of Grandson Castle, possesses among other artifacts a crossbow collection of around 150 pieces, the largest in Switzerland and one of the most important in the world.


Saturday, September 29th, 2018:
The parrot shooting takes place in the gardens of the castle from 09.00 to 17.00.
09.00 - opening with access to the cafeteria
09.30 - 15.00: Shooting in the castle garden, 1st round, paper target, max.120 participants
15.15: Announcement of the finalists
15.30-16.30: 2nd round. Shooting at the wooden parrot
17.00: Announcement of the results, award ceremony, "King" or "Queen"

Registration and information:
It is recommended to register directly online.

Preinscription is also possible directly at the castle from 16th September and registration directly at the castle on the 29th September.

Categories: men, ladies, junior 14 to 18 years old.
Weapons: crossbows will be at the disposition of the shooters.
Distance: 22 meters for the paper target (pointed bolts) and 17 meters for the wooden parrot (flat ended bolts).


CHF 16.- per person (entrance fee to the castle not included)
Spectators for the shooting competition: CHF 3.-  (this does not allow the access to the rest of the castle)
Lunch: "Parrot-Castle Menu" CHF 15.- or CHF 17.- with desert,  drinks not included.

Entrance fees to the castle

Adults: Fr. 10.- (reduced, instead of Fr. 12.-)
Pensioners or students: CHF 9.- (instead of CHF 10.-)
Families with 1-2 children: CHF 25.- (instead of 28.-)
Children: CHF 5.-.
Parking in the environment of the castle. Catering in the cafeteria


Fondation du Château de Grandson
Mr François Payot, President of the Committee “Tir au Papegay”, 079/336 58 77

Mr Jürg A. Meier, historian and author of the booklet "The Parrot Shooting", 079/252 34 39 or 044/202 72 34

Mr Ian Ashdown, member of the Organizing Committee "Tir au Papegay", technical director,, 079/210 31 31