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Sao Pedro do Corval, the largest pottery centre in Portugal

Sao Pedro do Corval, the largest pottery centre in Portugal

The welcoming parish of Sao Pedro do Corval is in the heart of Evora district, only a few miles from Reguengos de Monsaraz… And even closer to the village of Monsaraz. Known for its old tradition in pottery, Sao Pedro do Corval is the prime land of Alentejo pottery.

Nowadays, Sao Pedro do Corval has more than 20 artisanal pottery workshops. Because of that, it contains the largest concentration of potteries in Portugal and one of the largest in the Iberian Peninsula. Did you know that, since prehistoric times, there are clay deposits in Sao Pedro do Corval that are unique in this part of the Alentejo?

The clay permitted that, throughout history, the peoples who inhabited the region could create utilitarian pieces. These are so peculiar to the Alentejo temperament that they made daily life much easier. Some of these traces of our past survived until today, teaching us how our grandparents once lived.

The custom of manufacturing these valuable and special pieces is kept alive in Sao Pedro do Corval. Here, master potters still mould the clay by hand. They do it while slowly turning their wheel and sharing their life stories with their guests.

pottery corval
Traditional pottery in Sao Pedro do Corval, Alentejo, Portugal

Walking by the streets of this hospitable village of Sao Pedro do Corval, the welcoming nooks await your visit. Charming potteries to visit this Alentejo tradition. Extraordinary craftsmen pieces are made in a potter’s wheel, baked in wood ovens. Then, they are painted by hand with the golden colours of Alentejo.

Sao Pedro do Corval – Alentejo gastronomy

Do you think that Sao Pedro do Corval is all about its wonderful ceramics and terracotta pieces? Then, see what else you can do in the parish of master potters! Take the opportunity to savour the famous “Assado de Borrego” (Roasted lamb) and “Cozido de Carne” (Meat stew). These delicious traditional dishes of the rich Alentejo cuisine are a legacy prepared in “fire bowls”. They taste even better when accompanied by a nice red wine from the wineries in Reguengos de Monsaraz.

Try this authentic feast, with delicacies prepared in regional ceramics that perpetuate recipes refined with time and ingenuity.

Sao Pedro do Corval – visit beyond pottery

Why not take a walk through the beautiful D. Maria da Graça Villaret Ratinho garden after your meal? Another local custom is the one related with the megalithic menhir of Santa Margarida, popularly known as Rocha dos Namorados (Lovers’ Rock). Due to its mushroom shape and because it is deeply rooted into the ground, this rock is intimately connected with the idea of fertility.

prehistory corval alentejo
Rocha dos Namorados (Lovers’ Rock)

Therefore, in each Easter Monday, tradition tells that every lady old enough to get married should consult the wise menhir about her marriage. Single ladies throw rocks and try to hit the base of the top of the monolith. Each rock falling off the menhir represents one year of waiting for their future weddings.

The pilgrimages to Rocha dos Namoradas depart from the Main Church in Sao Pedro do Corval, also known as Santuário de Nossa Senhora do Rosário or Ermida de São Pedro. This religious building is considered a Monument of Public Interest in Portugal.

Probably built around the 16th century, the beautiful chapel has suffered a lot of damage during the 1755 earthquake. During the reconstruction of its facade, in the 18th century, the bell tower got a new and impressive new strength. More recently, in the 1990s, some great 15th-century frescoes were found on the wall of the main chapel.

Before you finish your journey through Sao Pedro do Corval, stop by Outeiro do Azinhalinho to take a walk in what is left of a sunny castle. The almost non-existent building was probably founded during the reign of King Afonso III and its ruins transport us to the times of knights and their noble crusades.

Alentejo is a synonym for ceramics, terracotta art, and you can’t find throughout Portugal another place so dedicated to terracotta art as in Sao Pedro do Corval. To get to know this parish is to deeply fall in love with its warm tones and serene charm. Come to Sao Pedro do Corval, enjoy a worthy and enriching rest and take home a small bit of Alentejo.

Tour Monsaraz, Guided Visit Monsaraz
tour corval visitJoin us in one of our Monsaraz Tours, with a route that goes through Sao Pedro do Corval. A must for those who are in Alentejo, Lisbon or any other city in Portugal and don’t have their own car. Perfect for travellers who value really getting to know the places they visit.
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