Alcobaça has a brilliant historical background linked to ceramics that highlights an important economic heritage. From the medieval barrister monks to the magnificent blue china, Alcobaça’s legacy was forged by both artisan potters and industrial and commercial entrepreneurs, and is still highly engrained within the Portuguese collective memory.

Throughout the 20th century, factories such as Raul da Bernarda, Olaria de Alcobaça, Elias & Paiva or Vestal, were founders of a local brand by diversifying their production and assimilating national and foreign trends carried out by the self-taught ceramic painters. The industry later incorporated the participation of erudite artists who would enhance a progressive modern production.

Entrepreneurs, technicians and creatives promoted continuous development that would provide a wide variety of possibilities. In this context of intense creativity and experimentation, the traditional imagery of the first half of the 20th century gave place, in the middle of the 21st century, to contemporary decorative objects. Renovated factories and new manufacturing units imposed themselves on the international market.

Nowadays, Alcobaça’s artistic ceramics industry dominates the sector on a national level with a set of twenty referenced companies that handle a revenue of many millions of euros with export rates, on average, above 90%. The crossover between design and high quality of the final art distinctively marks the industry’s success.

Preserving this historical memory remains the museological work of the Raul da Bernarda Museum (public) and the Museu de Cerâmica de Alcobaça (private) with their significant collections documenting the evolutionary periods of local decorative ceramics and promoting cultural initiatives that create value from a socio-educational, cultural and touristic point of view.

Hermínio José Rodrigues

Hermínio José Augusto Rodrigues

Mayor of Alcobaça

Message from the Mayor of Alcobaça

The Municipality of Alcobaça is a proud founding member of the Portuguese Association of Ceramic Cities and Villages.

As an industry closely linked to the identity of this territory, its History spans for centuries skillfully shaped by cistercian monks, small artisans and large businessmen, creators of wealth and jobs.

It is certainly the most emblematic industry of the municipality, strongly rooted in the local economy and an example of resilience, overcoming various adverse contexts. Thanks to the creativity and the entrepreneurship of both businessmen and workers, ceramics has been showing a continuous capacity for reinvention and modernization.

Currently, our artistic ceramics dominate the sector at a national level, with a group of around 20 factories moving millions of euros and presenting export rates above 90%.

As a founding member, the Municipality of Alcobaça will contribute, together with the other 17 municipalities, to the promotion of the sector and its social and historical impact.

Hermínio José Augusto Rodrigues
Mayor of Alcobaça

APTCVC Representatives


Vice President Inês Lopes Silva, Alcobaça

Vice President of the Board of Directors


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