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.
Mayor of Viana do Castelo
Viana do Castelo is a city of history and with history. The origins of the city date back to the Iron Age, which is proven by the Citânia in Santa Luzia’s Mount, a pre-roman fortified settlement built at that time.
Being this a city of heritage and culture, it has numerous points of touristic interest, combining a vast built environment with the natural charms provided by the sea, the river and the mountain. In the context of our built patrimony, there’s a clear highlight for ceramics, which has at the Museum of Decorative Arts its reference point.
The accession to the the Associação Portuguesa das Cidades e Vilas Cerâmicas / Portuguese Association of Ceramic Cities and Towns made perfect sense because, walking through the historic center, we can find precious ceramics all over the city, in public and private buildings, on façades or interiors. However, it is in our Museum of Decorative Arts that we can get to know or revisit an impressive collection of furniture and ceramics from the 17th-19th centuries, in which valuable pieces of Portuguese blue porcelain produced in the greatly missed Fábrica de Louça de Viana / Viana’s Factory of Ware stand out.
Mayor of Viana do Castelo