José Ferreira Pinto Basto, the founder of Vista Alegre, influenced by the success Marinha Grande glass factory, decided to create a porcelain, glass and chemical processes factory in 1815 with the purchase of Quinta da Ermida mansion and the 100 acre surrounding area near Ilhavo town. His activities flourished, thanks in no small part to the abundance of minerals and other manufacturing elements that are found in the rich soils in the area.
The Vista Alegre factory first received the authorizing patent in 1824 from king D. Joao VI and soon after was granted the title of Royal Factory honoring its art and industrial success.
Visiting the Vista Alegre factory is entering a world which keeps a century old secrets of the world’s most recognizable Portuguese porcelain manufacturing process. At the manufacturing area, you can witness the entire creation process of some of the most emblematic Portuguese porcelain pieces.
In a world where automated processes take over, discover why hand-painting is still part of the Vista Alegre manufacturing process, a century old process that distinguishes Vista Alegre as being one of the few companies that still chooses qualified labor in favor of automated machines.
Although some parts of the porcelain manufacturing process is still hand-made, Vista Alegre is also known for its technological advances in porcelain production, a tendency that kept the company at the forefront of porcelain production and design since late 19th century.