The Vista Alegre porcelain factory at Ílhavo is one of the world’s largest producers of table ware. The factory was built in 1824 beside the Aveiro estuary, close to supplies of china clay, sand and imported coal. It became famous for high-quality design and decoration. The company began its museum collection in 1947, which opened to the public in 1964. Between 2014 and 2016, the museum was renovated and expanded to include additional exhibition rooms. Two of the company's old kilns were integrated into the reception area.
The entrance is in a courtyard of historic factory buildings. The exhibition areas show the history of the factory, the aesthetic development of porcelain production and its importance in Portuguese society in the 19th and 20th centuries. The large collection comprises more than 30,000 pieces: glasswares, experimental wares from 1824 to 1834, the porcelain manufactured by Vista Alegre from 1835 to the present, design drawings and paintings, photographs of the life of the factory, objects and equipment. As part of the museum tour, the chapel in honour of Nossa Senhora da Penha de França, built at the end of the 17th century, and the hand-painting workshops can be visited. Also worth visiting is the factory village developed from 1824 with its housing, theatre, and school.
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|For details see website
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May to September:
October to April: