Inside the Traditional Portuguese Coimbra Pottery

Coimbra, in the center of Portugal, has produced ceramics for many centuries and possesses the oldest written document related to national ceramics.

The pottery of Coimbra represents the Eastern tradition - porcelains of China that was brought back by the sailors during the time of the discoveries - and also the influence of the Arab style.

Since 1960 there have also been produced ceramics inspired by the important Roman ruins of Conimbriga that exist nearby.

The pieces are decorated and distinguished by the following characteristics: 17th century blue drawings and color drawing (both inspired by the scenes of hunts); 15th century design under Arab influence and 18th century drawing with feathers and plumages of exotic birds that produce a unique effect giving the dishes a unique characteristic that it is impossible to confuse it with any other.

Today, stores though out the Alta (Old Quarter) sell hand painted Coimbra pottery for a handful of local workshops. All are signed by the artist, and come with a century mark to show what style they are in. From the shops at the steps leading up to the city’s Romanesque old cathedral, to the artist cooperative in ha former tower of the city’s walls (A Torre do Anto) it is no challenge to find Coimbra pottery today – and enjoy it!The Museum Machado de Castro offers a massive collection of the local pottery from the 15th century.