The first references to S. Pedro do Corval date from the beginning of the 17th century, with the designation of Aldeia do Mato. It was a small settlement a few kilometers from Monsaraz, the main village of the county at that time. The small village was already a parish in 1620, being the seat at Our Lady of the Rosary Hermitage and depending from Monsaraz Parish; from its priest depended some small settlements, among which Aldeia do Mato. In the 20th century, the ancient name – Aldeia do Mato – was changed by the decree of September 17th 1948, taking finally the present name of São Pedro do Corval. It is Head of the Parish, and aggregates the Settlements of Santo António do Baldio and Carrapatelo.
It is thus a community with many lives lived around clay, the art of pottery, since ancestral times to the present day, once that the master potters gave continuity to this multi secular tradition of making clay pieces, which constitute a Genuine mirror of rural life and customs of our ancestors.
Among pots, potter’s wheels and kilns, we find unique traditional practical pieces that take us to ancient times when the clay was moulded according to the needs of the work in the fields and the humble lives of Alentejo. We currently find true works of art in São Pedro do Corval, whether in shape or decoration – the pottery painting – made with an ancestral knowledge and with a unique aesthetic of the region. Combined with the unique live experience of being able to see the clay being moulded by the expert hands of the master potter at his wheel and to share his knowledge and experiences, São Pedro do Corval, with more than two dozen pottery shops in constant operation, is by excellence the largest pottery centre in the country and one of the largest in the Iberian Peninsula.
Mayor of Reguengos de Monsaraz
The Olaria de São Pedro do Corval Pottery
Our cultural heritage is a decisive factor for social cohesion and economic development. It is this unique heritage that individualizes and characterizes us, and which we have been promoting over the past years.
Recognizing the importance that this art has for Our territory, the Municipality of Reguengos de Monsaraz has, over the past few years, promoted several actions to safeguard and boost this art that is part of the identity root of our community.
Worth mentioning is the Project Casa do Barro – Centro Interpretativo da Olaria de São Pedro do Corval that aims to promote the pottery of São Pedro do Corval, making known the habits and customs that reflect the rural life of this community. Another project of reference is “Oleiro por um Dia”, the initiative arose under the CREATOUR Project and that everyone can contact with the clay and the various stages of production of a piece.
At this moment the Municipality of Reguengos de Monsaraz is in the process of certification of the Pottery of São Pedro do Corval, seeking, through this process, to enhance the production that is an important component of the symbolic capital and identity of this locality, in which several hundred people work.
On the way to valuing and safeguarding our handicraft production, we are also, at this moment, finalizing the Construction of the Cultural and Intangible Heritage Matrix.
It is this association between Heritage and Culture that makes us proud at Olaria de São Pedro do Corval!
Mayor of Reguengos de Monsaraz