To understand the importance of the Vista Alegre brand is to learn about the time periods of its History, to know its characters and artistic movements which influenced it, understand its particular constraints.The Vista Alegre Historic Museum reunites the History of the company created by José Ferreira Pinto Basto, the evolution of the factory and of its collections throughout almost 200 years of existence, as well as the emblematic connection between the factory and the people of Ílhavo.
At the factory, you should also visit:
This lavish area was built during the 17th century and it was the house of seven Pinto Basto family generations. It’s surrounded by magnificent gardens and a terrace which spreads alongside the Aveiro Lagoon. Nowadays, the palace is used to host Vista Alegre Factory guests.
The Chapel of Our Lady of Penha de França
The chapel dedicated to the patroness of Vista Alegre, founded in the late 17th century by Bishop Manuel de Moura Manoel, is an imposing baroque style building with magnificent decoration details, such as the figure of Our Lady of Penha de França receiving believers in the façade or the remarkable set which coats the interior with 17th century tile, gilded woodcarvings and freshly painted vaults. The grave of the founder, sculptured in Ançã stone by Claude Laprade stands out. The space was classified as a National Monument in 1910.
The Vista Alegre Quarter
The Pinto Basto family showed a sense of social awareness way ahead of their time. During the first years following the creation of the factory, they ordered a quarter for the workers to be built because the factory was too far from surrounding towns, from which most of them came from. Some workers still live at these houses today.
Built to ensure that the workers and people who lived at the social quarter had a leisure and entertainment space, the Vista Alegre Theater is now used by an amateur theatre group made by factory workers. Sometimes the stage is also borrowed to other artistic groups in Aveiro.