Viana do Castelo is located in the mouth of the Lima River, on the north coast of Portugal and was elevated as a city by D. Maria II (1848), constituting a scenery of natural, patrimonial, historical, monumental and artistic beauty. In the Neolithic period, the territory, which today corresponds to the Municipality of Viana do Castelo, recorded human occupation and the presence of ceramic artifacts in the Vianense region can date back to that period. In the second half of the 18th century, the Tableware Factory of Viana emerged, benefiting from a set of Pombaline measures (charter of 1770), which aimed to intensify the production of artistic ceramics in Portugal and established protective measures for national factories.

In 1945, which was founded in the place of Senhora da Ajuda, Meadela, the tableware factory with the commercial name “Cerâmica de Viana”, with the objective of resuming the Viennese ceramic traditions. It was in this factory that António Pedro, an artist with a multifaceted spirit and open to almost all experiences of artistic creation, made remarkable works in stoneware, contributing to the company’s artistic success.

Other industrial initiatives in the area of ceramics appeared in the municipality of Viana, in the 20th century. In 1942, in the parish of Lanheses, the José Agra Cª. factory was founded for the industrial manufacture of tile, brick and, experimentally, decorative tableware that gave way in 1983 to Artistic Pottery of Lanheses.
In Alvarães, DEVICA – Ceramic Factory of Alvarães appears, with its owner Álvaro Rocha, a prestigious ceramist, teacher, painter and sculptor who also took on an artistic direction, producing contemporary and utilitarian ceramics with stoneware pastes. In 1974, on the outskirts of the city, a small factory was created with the name ALFE- Porcelain and Faience Factory. In the parish of Carvoeiro, in 1994, a new unit was born, called Vinagres Ceramics Factory, and is still in operation today.

The Decorative Arts Museum of Viana do Castelo – supervised by the City Council – houses an exceptional collection of Portuguese faience, from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, with special emphasis on the pieces produced in the Tableware Factory of Viana.


José Maria Costa

Mayor of Viana do Castelo

Message from the mayor of Viana do Castelo

Viana lingers in the heart.

The origins of Viana do Castelo date back to the Iron Age, as evidenced by the “Citânia” built at that time on Monte de Santa Luzia. Its History, always linked to the sea, reports a set of events that made Viana one of the main commercial ports in the country. Thus, in 1258, D. Afonso III granted him the first Charter, giving the name of Viana da Foz do Lima to the municipality, as if foreseeing his maritime vocation. On January 20, 1848, by decree of D. Maria II, Viana was elevated to the category of city, adopting the name of Viana do Castelo.

A city of History and Culture, it has numerous points of touristic interest, associating with a vast heritage the natural charms provided by the sea, river and mountains.

Ceramics has, in Viana do Castelo, the Decorative Arts Museum as its reference point. Although we can find beautiful examples around the city, our municipal museum is the space that houses an impressive collection of furniture and ceramics from the 17th-18th centuries, among which valuable Portuguese blue porcelain pieces stand out.


José Maria Costa

Mayor of Viana do Castelo